A reasonable person would think that easing the strain on our energy infrastructure, bringing down consumer bills and protecting children’s health would be issues that had bipartisan support, yet Congress is considering a pair of bills that would ensure otherwise .

The so-called Save Our Gas Stoves Act and the Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act would prevent federal agencies, such as the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, from issuing standards that protect the health and safety of consumers against the damage of gas stoves and save energy so as to reduce bills for consumers.

One of the bills was blocked by House Republicans during a vote on Tuesday, for political purposes beyond gas stoves, the other is on the agenda for today’s vote.

It seems clear from the headlines that the sponsors and advocates of the laws are more concerned with protecting fossil fuel appliances than with safeguarding consumers. Republicans say these laws are needed because (they argue) federal health and safety standards would effectively “ban” gas stoves. However, their stated premise is simply false.

One of the bills before the House today would prevent the DOE from finalizing energy efficiency standards for cooking appliances, as required by law. These standards would ensure that all new stoves on the market meet a basic level of efficiency, using less energy to run just as well. About half of the gas stoves on sale already meet the proposed energy efficiency standards. For those who don’t, DOE has found that simple design changes are enough to meet the requirements.

Through extensive research on the topic, the DOE estimates that the proposed stove standards would save U.S. consumers up to $1.7 billion and avoid approximately 22 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions over 30 years of sales.

And while no federal agency is attempting to take gas stoves away from anyone, the argument for limiting or phasing out their use in our homes and buildings is strong.

Studies show the picture is bleak when it comes to indoor air pollution from stoves. In addition to the main ingredient methane, the gas burned in those stoves contains 21 dangerous chemicals, many of which have been linked to cancer, according to a Harvard study. Cooking with gas also significantly increases the risk of asthma, especially for children.

Evidence shows that homes with gas stoves have concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, or NO2, that are between 50% and over 400% higher than homes with electric stoves. The Environmental Protection Agency has detailed abundant evidence linking NO2 to cardiovascular effects, respiratory failure, diabetes, adverse birth outcomes, cancer and premature death, with increased risks for children, people with asthma and the elderly.

Additionally, gas stoves and other appliances that burn fossil fuels, such as furnaces and water heaters, are significant sources of outdoor air pollution. Unlike other sectors of the economy, however, there are no substantial federal regulations limiting emissions from residential and commercial buildings, even though these sectors now account for about 40% of the nation’s total energy use and 14% of its emissions. net of greenhouse gases, with 79 million US buildings burning fossil fuels, according to our analysis of data from the US Energy Information Administration.

Moving to pollution-free homes with appliances powered by electricity, which increasingly comes from renewable resources, will improve air quality both indoors and out and protect public health. It will also save consumers money on their energy bills.

Building new homes with electrical appliances that run on renewable energy is almost always less expensive than building homes with polluting appliances that run on fossil fuels. And, while there is upfront spending on new appliances, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) aims to reduce those costs for consumers of all income levels, by offering point-of-sale discounts and tax credits for appliances and other home updates that may be needed to accommodate those changes, such as new electrical breaker boxes or better weathering.

While the gas industry has worked for decades to build a sentimental attachment to gas stoves, the current generation of electric appliances simply leaves appliances that burn fossil fuels in the dust. An induction stove can boil water in less than 3 minutes and allows for greater temperature control, while electric heat pumps provide space and water heating and cooling. And, as new technologies become more widely available and more affordable with IRA financial incentives, the benefits of electrification will only grow.

This boils down (excuse the pun) to one thing: Republicans in Congress are more concerned with winning a battle in the culture war instead of protecting consumers, reducing energy bills, safeguarding public health, and improving reliability. Any member of Congress who supports people over appliances should vote no to these bills when they hit the floor this week.

Jessica Tritsch is the director of the Sierra Club’s buildings electrification campaign.

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