House GOP eyes gas stove protections as sprawling energy bill nears passage

March 30, 2023

The House is set to include a last-minute safeguard for natural gas stoves against proposed efficiency standards from the Biden administration as part of a sprawling energy package.

Republican leaders are preparing to pass this week the Lower Energy Costs Act, dubbed HR 1, which seeks to boost domestic fossil fuel production and lower energy costs by fast-tracking the approval process for new projects.

Included in the dozens of amendments up for debate is one from Republican Reps. Debbie Lesko of Arizona and Gary Palmer of Alabama to prohibit Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm from implementing proposed rules that could render noncompliant a majority of new gas stove models on the market.

The amendment also seeks to curb any future stipulations against the popular household cooking appliance — used by roughly 40% of U.S. homes — by blocking “any other rule that would limit consumer access to gas stoves.”

“As Arizona families gear up for spring and summer, don’t forget President Biden is coming for your gas stove,” Ms. Lesko said. “Is your gas-powered grill next?”

The provision comes amid widespread concerns from cooks, builders, lawmakers and everyday Americans that purchasing new gas stoves could be severely restricted by new efficiency rules to combat health and environmental concerns from methane emissions.

Phasing out the appliance at the local level is part of a broader push by mostly Democratic-led cities to electrify the economy and transition away from fossil fuels, including by prohibiting natural gas altogether in new buildings.

While the energy package is expected to clear the GOP-led House on Thursday, it’s dead on arrival with Senate Democrats because it undercuts their green energy agenda and President Biden’s tax-and-climate-spending law known as the Inflation Reduction Act. Mr. Biden has threatened to veto it.

Still, House Republicans hope its passage will breathe new life into bipartisan talks for streamlining the environmental review process for energy projects. They also argue it could give them leverage — particularly if any Democrats break rank — against the White House in negotiations on the budget and debt-limit.

“I would like this to be part of a debt ceiling negotiation,” House Majority Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican and a lead author of the legislation, told reporters. “It’s about time that President Biden actually picks up the phone, calls Speaker [Kevin] McCarthy and accepts his offer to go sit down and talk. This would be one really good item to help get those talks further along.”