The chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a Biden appointee, said on Wednesday that he is not seeking to ban new gas stoves.
The statement from CPSC Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric comes amid significant backlash from both Republicans and some conservative Democrats.
“I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so,” said Hoehn-Saric in a written statement.
He clarified that the commission is “researching gas emissions in stoves and exploring new ways to address health risks.” He also said it is engaged in “strengthening voluntary safety standards” for the appliances.
Fellow commissioner Richard Trumka, also a Biden appointee, has floated new regulations or a ban on the stoves, as The Hill first reported last month.
The issue was met with condemnation from Republican lawmakers, including House Energy and Commerce Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), who pledged oversight while talking to reporters Wednesday and also released a statement condemning the potential for a ban.
“It is about telling the American people the federal government knows best and will decide what kind of car they can drive, how they can heat their house, and now how they’re allowed to cook food for their families,” she said. “Energy and Commerce Republicans will hold President Biden accountable for his war on American energy and bring down energy costs.”
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) also hit back against the idea of a ban.
“This is a recipe for disaster. The federal government has no business telling American families how to cook their dinner,” he said. “If this is the greatest concern that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has for American consumers, I think we need to reevaluate the commission.”
Supporters of a ban or new regulations point to studies that have shown that gas stoves can emit substances that are harmful to human health, including one from December that linked the stoves to childhood asthma.