by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Editors at National Review Online critique one of the Biden administration’s latest harmful ideas.
The federal government is no longer sure whether it’s possible, after over 100 years of widespread usage, to safely operate a gas-powered stove. It’s deadly serious, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. “Science” suddenly says that gas stoves are the new cigarettes. “Gas-burning stoves in kitchens across America are responsible for roughly 12.7 percent of childhood asthma cases nationwide — on par with the childhood asthma risks associated with exposure to secondhand smoke, according to a study,” the Washington Post said in its Climate 202 newsletter.
The asthma study that has triggered the latest uproar was funded by RMI, an environmental group with the radical goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 50 percent within the next seven years. Its lead author is part of the group’s Carbon-Free Buildings initiative. The study was not based on any actual scientific research into the effects on the body of having a gas stove in the house during normal use. It’s based on looking at previous studies from North America and Europe, making extrapolations about the number of children living in homes with gas stoves from data in the American Housing Survey, and then coming up with a mathematical formula to get the result that the authors wanted. Even if we accept the data as sound — that is, that children living in homes with gas stoves were observed to have higher rates of asthma — it does not remove other variables. Gas stoves could simply be more common in households that have other factors making their children more likely to suffer from asthma.
But follow the science we must, without looking too closely at it. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm used the study as a sales pitch for the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which includes tax credits for electric stoves.