As noted by my colleague Mary Chastain, the Biden administration recently considered a nationwide ban on gas stoves, blaming “pollutants” released by the appliances, according to a report.
The “study” involved 53 households, all in California.
We quantified methane released in 53 homes during all phases of stove use: steady-state-off (appliance not in use), steady-state-on (during combustion), and transitory periods of ignition and extinguishment.
We estimated that natural gas stoves emit 0.8–1.3% of the gas they use as unburned methane and that total U.S. stove emissions are 28.1 [95% confidence interval: 18.5, 41.2] Gg CH4 year–1. More than three-quarters of methane emissions we measured originated during steady-state-off. Using a 20-year timeframe for methane, annual methane emissions from all gas stoves in U.S. homes have a climate impact comparable to the annual carbon dioxide emissions of 500 000 cars.
But there is more!
The publication date of this study is January 27, 2022. In February, energy markets and public policy expert Roger Donway noted that one of the study’s authors indicated replacing gas with electric stoves was not the solution.
After weeks of those scary headlines proliferating, the lead author of that study—in a comment buried deep in a story published February 10 in Popular Mechanics—said: Actually, replacing your perfectly fine gas stove is “not the right response at this time.”
“We don’t want people to go out and completely ditch a perfectly good gas stove,” lead author Eric Lebel said.
After weeks of reports that your gas stove was secretly hurting you and your family, we find out that you just need to ensure proper ventilation (which is true regardless of whether you use gas or electric, by the way).
But the damage was already done. Google “gas stoves and health” and you’ll find endless headlines about that study that could frighten working families into making costly replacements that they both can’t afford and don’t need to make.
Meanwhile, another expert told a separate media outlet that the researchers had encased the kitchens in a Mylar tent to “trap and concentrate the emissions, and then measure the concentration.” No one cooks in a kitchen like that! He said it would “incorrect” to draw any health conclusions from the paper.
Fortunately, the backlash to awful policy based on bad science was so hot that the administration backed off the proposed ban.
At least one solid data point can be gathered from this incident: There isn’t one agency the Biden Administration can’t use to hurt the American people.DONATE
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