We know that California is pushing to become the first state to ban natural gas heaters, water heaters, and furnaces by 2030, a policy of the California Air Resources Board, entirely made up of appointees by the governor.
Now the federal government wants to ban gas stoves. They claim “U.S. homes have a climate impact comparable to the annual carbon dioxide emissions of 500 000 cars.”
“The US Consumer Product Safety Commission plans to take action to address the pollution, which can cause health and respiratory problems,” Bloomberg reported this week. “This is a hidden hazard,” Richard Trumka Jr., an agency commissioner, said in an interview. “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”
Where did this strange idea come from?
Hang on – this is an E-Ticket ride.
Friday January 6, 2022 The Guardian reported that “the emission of toxic chemicals and carcinogens from gas stoves is creating indoor pollution worse than car traffic.”
The Guardian says “research has repeatedly found the emission of toxic chemicals and carcinogens from gas stoves, even when they are turned off, is creating a miasma of indoor pollution.”
This research link is from Harvard Health Publishing. The article is written by Wynne Armand, MD in September 2022 who claims “Cooking with gas stoves creates nitrogen dioxide and releases additional tiny airborne particles known as PM2.5, both of which are lung irritants. Nitrogen dioxide has been linked with childhood asthma. During 2019 alone, almost two million cases worldwide of new childhood asthma were estimated to be due to nitrogen dioxide pollution.”
Dr. James Enstrom of UCLA long ago debunked the PM2.5 epidemiology. He found no robust relationship between PM2.5 and total mortality. However, this claim about these airborne particles have been used for decades by the government and American Cancer Society “as the primary justification for many costly regulations, most recently the Clean Power Plan,” as Dr. Enstrom explains.
Dr. Enstrom explains the background and his conclusion:
In 1997 the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5), largely because of its positive relationship to total mortality in the 1982 American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study (CPS II) cohort. Subsequently, EPA has used this relationship as the primary justification for many costly regulations, most recently the Clean Power Plan. An independent analysis of the CPS II data was conducted in order to test the validity of this relationship.
No significant relationship between PM2.5 and total mortality in the CPS II cohort was found when the best available PM2.5 data were used. The original 1995 analysis found a positive relationship by selective use of CPS II and PM2.5 data. This independent analysis of underlying data raises serious doubts about the CPS II epidemiologic evidence supporting the PM2.5 NAAQS. These findings provide strong justification for further independent analysis of the CPS II data.
The crux of the Guardian article is this statement: “Children living in households that use gas stoves for cooking are 42% more likely to have asthma, according to an analysis of observational research. While observational studies can’t prove that cooking with gas is the direct cause of asthma, data also show that the higher the nitrogen dioxide level, the more severe the asthma symptoms in children and adults.”
And this: “Organizations like the Massachusetts Medical Society and the American Medical Association are trying to raise clinician and public awareness about these risks.”
The Guardian article also references “the carbon free buildings program at RMI who undertook the research.” What or who is RMI?
RMI is the Rocky Mountain Institute, “a 501(c)3 nonprofit aiming to radically improve America’s energy practices.”
But the link in the Guardian article takes readers to is not RMI but to MDPI International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, which MDPI says “is a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal published by MDPI, to a study titled “Population Attributable Fraction of Gas Stoves and Childhood Asthma in the United States.”
This is a screen capture of the online study page:
MDPI references the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) National Library of Medicine. NIH is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world. And MDPI says “This research was supported in part by internal funds of RMI and in part by the National Cancer Institute.” The National Cancer Institute is a part of the NIH (cancer.gov).
MDPI shows the study is authored by several people including Brady Seals, manager of the carbon free buildings program at RMI who told the Guardian, “the prevalence of asthma due to gas stoves is similar to the amount of asthma caused by second hand smoking, which she called ‘eye popping.’ Seals added: ‘We knew this was a problem but we didn’t know how bad. This study shows that if we got rid of gas stoves we would prevent 12.7% of childhood asthma cases, which I think most people would want to do.’”
The carbon free buildings program at RMI states:
Construct only zero-carbon buildings
Retrofit 5% of buildings annually
Ensure electric and efficient appliances
RMI claims they are: “Driving the technical, policy, and regulatory solutions to accelerate the transition to all-electric buildings.”
You can begin to see how this attempt to ban natural gas stoves started. Their agenda is huge.
Rocky Mountain Institute proposes “carbon-free buildings.” They say, “Commercial buildings consume more than 35 percent of the generated electricity in the U.S. and are underperforming at every level. They waste energy, emit too much carbon, and are too costly for owners and occupants.”
Under the RMI Carbon-free Electricity program, they say:
Scale clean energy portfolios
Build clean, competitive, modern grids
Make utilities clean energy champions
Natural gas does not fit into this model.
The 2019 revenue for the RMI (their latest IRS 990 form available) was $61,864, 266. And the RMI organization qualifies under IRS rules as a “publicly supported organization,” by more than 72%, according to their 2019 IRS Form 990.
So the question is, “Did the U.S. Government (National Cancer Institute) initiate the study, bolstered by RMI’s mission plan and government funding?” If the government is providing the Rocky Mountain Institute the bulk of its funding, and then uses the Rocky Mountain Institute to justify the ban on gas stoves, where is the independent peer review? Or is that also from a government funded organization?
“We need to be talking about regulating gas stoves, whether that’s drastically improving emissions or banning gas stoves entirely,” Richard Trumka, a commissioner at the US consumer product safety commission said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “And I think we ought to keep that possibility of a ban in mind, because it’s a powerful tool in our tool belt and it’s a real possibility here.”
“Good ventilation systems can reduce the health risks of cooking with gas. But Trumka said it’s important that your stove’s exhaust hood connects to a vent outside your home.”
“Trumka’s remarks came during a recent virtual news conference hosted by PIRG.” The Tribune tells us that PIRG is a network of public interest research groups.
“The start of a federal process that could lead to more regulation of gas stoves is ‘a big step’ said U.S. PIRG environment campaigns director Matt Casale,” the Tribune reported.
A Google search of PIRG says they “operate and support organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.”
PIRG claims, “All Americans want a healthier, safer, more secure future. PIRG works to find common ground around common sense solutions that will help make that future a reality. The problems we work on aren’t progressive or conservative. They’re just problems that our country shouldn’t tolerate in an age of great abundance and technological progress.”
The Guardian reported, Stanford researchers discovered last year that levels of nitrogen dioxide emitted from gas stoves and ovens can rise above safe standards set for outdoor pollution by the Environmental Protection Agency. The Stanford link takes us to the NIH again to a report titled, “Methane and NO x Emissions from Natural Gas Stoves, Cooktops, and Ovens in Residential Homes.” This revelation is in their study abstract: “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.”
Why are the anti-fossil fuel zealots pushing so hard to do away with natural gas stoves in private homes, when if they were being honest, and if natural gas stoves are really as dangerous as they claim, they would go after professional commercial kitchens, and fast food kitchens where stoves and burners are on all day cooking just-ordered meals.
I am not advocating putting McDonalds, In-N-Out, Chez Panisse or Spago out of business. But none of these studies seem legitimate, because once again, the government is targeting the lowest hanging fruit – the consumer and individuals – rather than the industry which uses commercial natural gas stoves professionally.
It’s as if the government is just trying to create another jobs program – for itself – rather than addressing a real need. Perhaps the motive is more nefarious. The WHO is named in the studies, as are many Chinese studies.
UPDATE: “The White House on Wednesday asserted that President Joe Biden does not support a ban on gas stoves after a federal consumer safety official suggested that such a proposal was on the table,” CNN reported.
This is probably a good move given that the White House kitchen is outfitted with a commercial natural gas stove.
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