The Biden administration is continuing its all-of-government attack on natural gas. The latest salvo comes from the Department of Energy (DOE) which continues to move forward with regulation to essentially ban natural gas stoves.
In the spring, DOE proposed regulations on natural gas stoves. The regulations were a complete mess. Our research found that DOE had tested 21 gas cooktops with the features consumers care about (continuous grates and at least one high-powered burner). DOE set the proposed regulation so strictly that only a single gas cooking top out of 21 would meet their standard. However, we also found that cooktop was no longer on the market. In other words, we found that DOE was proposing a standard where zero products with important features meet DOE’s standard and are available for purchase. Such a result would certainly be against the law.
Our comment to DOE explaining some of the flaws with their first proposed regulation is here.
DOE understands that their regulation is legally dubious and on August 2, 2023, they released a “notice of data availability” where they updated their analysis of gas stoves. There were still multiple problems with DOE’s updated analysis. First, DOE is required by law to give people 60 days to comment on regulations, but in this case, they only gave people 30 days. This makes no sense unless DOE is trying to meet some internal deadline to ratchet up regulations on gas stoves (and they would be hoping the judge reads the law differently than we do).
Also, instead of conducting a bunch of testing to understand how its proposed regulations would impact the gas stove market, they merely looked at manufacturers’ websites and then claimed that 40 percent of the market would meet DOE’s proposed regulation.
Lastly, the law requires DOE’s energy efficiency regulations to result in a “significant savings of energy.” However, for gas stoves, the proposed rule would only save $3 a year in energy savings. This is not a significant savings of energy.
Our comment on DOE’s latest update to their gas stove regulation is here.
The Department of Energy should stop its backdoor approach to trying to ban natural gas stoves. Their current proposed regulations are a mess and if they finalize it, they will almost certainly lose in court. However, sometimes judges make crazy decisions and it appears that is what DOE is counting on.