People should be able to buy the kitchen appliances they want. That statement was supported when the Administration finally issued its gas and electric stove rules. Most stoves have climate-harming emissions, which was the reason for a new set of regulations. Stove manufacturers got off the hook when the final list was released. It was not supposed to happen this way.
Under a new rule from the Energy Department, 97% of the new gas stoves on the market will meet federal climate protection regulations. Seventy-seven percent of electric stoves will. Last year, the Energy Department planned that 50% of new gas stoves would be affected.
The new stove list is part of the “DOE Finalizes Cost-Saving Efficiency Standards for New Cooking Products, Based on Recommendations from Manufacturers and Consumer Advocates.” In part, it read, “The new standards will also require only a small portion of models to make modest improvements to their energy efficiency to match the level of efficiency already demonstrated by the majority of the market today.” The sentence should have read “very small.”
While it is unclear which companies, politicians, or lobbyists applied the pressure to drop the original plans, it worked. One aggressive critic of the plan was Rep. Kelly Armstrong, vice chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He said, “Here’s an idea. Let Americans decide what stove is right for their families, not the federal government.” And it turned out broad consumer choice was a winner, and restrictions to help the environment were lost.