Gas stoves will likely not be banned in the US anytime soon

Previous reports have indicated that gas stoves could be harmful to users' health. 

But despite concerns from experts, investigations from health officials, and attempts by the U.S. Energy Department to regulate the utility, it seems that gas stoves are here to stay.

In January, The Biden administration finalized energy efficiency regulations targeting gas-powered stovetops as part of its broader climate agenda but backed off a more aggressive proposal it issued last year which attracted substantial criticism.

On Jan. 29, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued its final rules after nearly 12 months of feedback from consumer advocates, industry associations and climate activist groups. 

The regulations, which are set to go into effect in early 2028, reflect a compromise recommendation issued last year by stakeholders including the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the leading U.S. trade group representing appliance makers.

The new requirements are aimed at both increasing the energy efficiency of consumer appliances and reducing the environmental impact. The Energy Department said they are predicting these changes will save Americans $1.6 billion on their energy bills over the next 30 years. 

"President Biden is committed to using all the tools at the Administration's disposal to lower costs for American families and deliver healthier communities — including energy efficiency measures like the one announced today," Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

According to the new rule, manufacturers are prohibited from selling gas conventional cooking tops that consume more than 1,770 thousand British thermal units (kBtu) per year, an amount roughly 50% higher than in DOE’s February 1, 2023, the department wrote in a statement

Biden was never planning to take away your stoves

Last year, President Joe Biden and his administration came under fire due to overcooked fears that it was planning a nationwide ban on gas stoves. 

The claim was sparked by comments published in January 2023 from a Consumer Product Safety Commission official, that "any option is on the table" when it comes to regulating gas stoves, amid growing health concerns over the appliances.

Reports that the commission was considering a ban on gas stoves made their way into online discussion which evoked images of the government dragging four-burner cooktops from homes, as social media users shared memes of gas stoves with text like, "Don’t Tread On Me."

"I’ll NEVER give up my gas stove. If the maniacs in the White House come for my stove, they can pry it from my cold dead hands. COME AND TAKE IT!!" conservative Texas GOP Rep. Ronny Jackson said on Twitter.

Commission Chairman Alex Hoehn-Saric quickly weighed in, denying any move from the agency to ban gas stoves. 

"Research indicates that emissions from gas stoves can be hazardous, and the CPSC is looking for ways to reduce related indoor air quality hazards. But to be clear, I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so," Hoehn-Saric said in a statement.

In June, the House passed the Save Our Gas Stoves Act on a bipartisan basis in a 249-181 vote. That bill, which has yet to receive a Senate floor vote, would block DOE from implementing tougher conservation standards on stoves.

Are gas stoves safe?

A study published October 2022 found that gas stoves in California homes were leaking cancer-causing benzene, although they said more research was needed to understand how many homes have leaks. 

In the study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, researchers also estimated that over 4 tons of benzene per year are being leaked into the atmosphere from outdoor pipes that deliver the gas to buildings around California — the equivalent to the benzene emissions from nearly 60,000 vehicles. And those emissions are unaccounted for by the state.

In a separate report from September 2022, Research on gas stoves pointed to concerning health issues, such as childhood asthma. Academic researchers, like Dr. Jonathan Levy, an environmental health professor at Boston University, warned about how such appliances can release hazardous air pollutants even when they’re turned off.

"How can one gas stove contribute more to your exposure than an entire highway full of vehicles? The answer is that outdoor pollution disperses over a large area, while indoor pollution concentrates in a small space," Levy wrote in a piece published this week by The Conversation.

Cooking with gas stoves creates nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which is a byproduct of fuel combustion and a known lung irritant, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. NO2 exposures in homes have been associated with more severe asthma and increased use of rescue inhalers in children in previous studies. 

In one analysis of observational research published in 2013, children living in households that use gas stoves for cooking were found to be 42% more likely to have asthma.

Consumer Reports notes that induction ranges are more environmentally friendly, as they cook faster and more precisely. However, they can also be pricey and expensive when converting a kitchen from gas to electric to install the necessary outlet. Most pans, including stainless steel and cast iron, are compatible with induction, but some aren’t — such as those made of aluminum and anodized aluminum, the website notes.

Kelly Hayes, FOX News and The Associated Press contributed to this story. It was reported from Los Angeles.