A Majority Of Americans Are Against Banning Gas Stoves

Yves here. One of my conservative friends gets extremely agitated on the topic of a gas stove ban. She fulminates that the stereotypical CNN/MSNBC watcher who supports this restriction eats out often and hasn’t worked out that banning gas stoves would also end restaurants as we know them (and no, she just about never dines out)

Interestingly, far more people object to a gas stove ban than actually have them. Only about 30% of US homes have one.

My gas stove defender isn’t completely opposed to a curb but points even to the studies supporting the regulatory change that show its impact on climate change is so small as to be debatable. She wants action against much more serious offenders first, starting with the US military.

However, the argument for the gas stove ban is mainly about health risks. Since there are parts of the US with high levels of gas stove use, such as New York, New Jersey, and California. it ought to be possible to firm up the thesis with population-level and workplace (restaurant) studies.  I find the concern about benzene levels from gas stoves to be hypocritical. I have yet to see anyone worried about health risks of benzene exposure to nail salon workers, where the fumes can be so thick that you feel them in your trachea.

The other question I have yet to see addressed is what it would take in the way of better ventilation to reduce the benzene hazard to safer levels.

By Irina Slav, a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry. Originally published at OilPrice

A majority of 69% of Americans are against a ban on gas stoves, a poll conducted by the Harvard Center for American Political Studies and Harris.

The poll covered a number of topics spanning from approval of institutions to top concerns, but it also included a question on the gas stove ban, to which most respondents answered in the negative.

The issue has become quite heated recently after a study came out earlier this year suggesting a link between gas stove use and asthma. At the time, a commissioner at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said that CPSC had been considering a ban on gas stoves for months. The statement was promptly denied by the head of the CPSC.

However, other authorities took up the gas stove ban idea and New York recently became the first state to pass legislation that would ban the installation of gas stoves in new buildings due to the perceived harms of using them.

There are also several cities across the U.S. with gas bans in place although Palo Alto recently made an exception for a celebrity chef planning to open a restaurant in town.

The Harvard/Harris poll suggests a majority of Americans have similar feelings to chef Jose Andres when it comes to gas stoves. The sentiment was especially marked among Republicans, unsurprisingly.

As much as 83% of GOP respondents were opposed to a gas stove ban versus 55% of Democrats. Yet opposition to a ban was also pronounced among respondents without party affiliations: 71% of them were against a ban.

Meanwhile, the pressure campaign against gas stoves continues. Media reported this week on a new study that claims it had found that gas stoves emit a carcinogenic chemical—benzene—in concentrations higher than its concentrations in cigarette smoke. The implication appears to be that using a gas stove may be even more dangerous than second-hand smoke.

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  1. rob

    why the outright BANNING of gas stoves? It is a no brainer that gas stoves produce the by products of combustion. Everyone knows these are never “good for you”. But SO WHAT?…. All kinds of things aren’t “good for you”.
    Do we really need a study? Of course in a sane world, the scientific/medical communities would be studying everything, so as to know more. But we don’t live in a sane world.

    Any study, would have to parse out the difference of everyone who lives near, or drives daily upon a roadway. Highways are like rivers of pollution. and Yves brought up nail salons, but what about welding, painting, plumbing ,etc…. where fumes are omni-present….

    What about the stove vent fans required or at least available to many?
    what about the building code organizations who dictate what is or isn’t allowed in new construction.

    Where does the fact that due to this man made new contagion called “COVID”., we all should begin to incorporate better ventilation in all of our living spaces , now that the defense dept program fauci was running , created this pandemic we all have been living thru.

    and the powers that be want to BAN GAS STOVES!
    I wish we could ban the defense dept. That would make ALL of our lives better.

    1. tegnost

      vent fan regs wold fix it. I see it as either a scam, a nudge, or both. Just as a zeitgeist, mom is getting solar (some program ended april 15 and she got in at the last minute that apparently protects you from increased grid cost down the line (see below re access)), the neighbor was curious re cost but is waffling, saying one of his friends insists “they” are trying to push people into solar then later they’ll make access to the grid more costly, so making access to the grid what you’re paying for and yes, I’d say that is very possible in light of sempra and pg+e being socialist pigs, and that the MOU have a plan and it benefits themselves but what that plan is is a tightly held secret. YMMV…another angle of the zeitgeist, my most virulently TDS afflicted friends/family have gas stoves and they’re not giving them up, but they have no problem depriving others in order to save the world, just as they insist that american workers are going to have to live with less as global control by the us kicks in and marginally improves the living circumstances of the rest of the world, which is of course done to enrich themselves who absolutely feel the us has already taken over the world and russia and china are just more entitled peons who will submit, as one must.

      1. some guy

        It is an effort to engineer a moral(health) panic as well as a scam. The moral panic side of it is obvious . . . . the absolutely sudden blaring of all this anti-gas-stove fearmongering propaganda from many sources at once to try herding people into accepting the concept. It looks just like an engineered ” Color Revolution” to me.

        The scam part of it is perhaps less obvious, but here it is, to my suspicious mind. The big gas owner-sellers want to compress natural gas into LNG to sell it to Europe for a higher price than they can get for it as gas here in America. If they can suppress gas use here in America, they have more gas to compress and sell to Europe as LNG. They have ZERO plans to “leave it in the ground”. They plan to compress and sell every last puff of gas to Europe. They want to ban gas stoves here in order to have all those extra puffs of gas to compress and sell to Europe.

        If I find myself living in a ” no gas hookups allowed ” neigborhood, I will simply get a gas stove anyway and have it re-fitted for propane and use propane in it. I will not play along with the “electric stove conspiracy”.

        Am I a Republican? No.
        Am I a Democrat? Well, I was . . . till the Democrats went conservative on me.
        Am I a Liberal? Well, I was . . . till the Liberals went conservative on me.

    2. JonnyJames

      This entire issue seems like a manufactured distraction to perpetuate the illusion of choice between the D and R faction. Emotional issues are always used to make people believe they have a real choice and to hide the fact that both parties represent the oligarchy.

      Meanwhile, the corruption increases, and the Dystopia unfolds and nothing is being done about it.

    3. Piotr Berman

      Wages of sin? Using fire partakes in stolen property, what Prometheus stole from gods, thus with all the benefits comes a curse.

      The main benefit of gas cooking is how quickly and accurately you can increase or decrease temperature. Most of people routinely undercook or overcook, if they cook at all, but in the same time, their appreciate superior results when they visit friends or restaurants.

      1. JBird4049

        I prefer cooking with gas myself, but I live in an apartment that has an electric range.

        However, what concerns me is that PG&E, that incompetent cesspool of a utility, not only is not upgrading the lines for the increasing use by electric cars, it still has to catch up on maintenance.

        What happens if we have to replace all those gas stoves with electric especially when we get another disastrous fire season and,or heatwave? Do we again get those rolling blackouts of twenty years ago?

  2. John R Moffett

    You’d think that after hearing about the levels of indoor pollution caused by burning gas inside your house, people might reconsider. Plus, there have been quite a few gas explosions, including a large one in Paris the other day. I grew up with gas stoves, and always found them to be a big mess and hard to clean. I’ll never go back to a gas stove, I love my electric stove and don’t really understand the desire to burn hydrocarbons inside a closed breathing space.

    1. Louis Fyne

      honest rhethorical questions that I don’t know the answers and that someone in the pro-ban administration should have the answer:

      how kids get burned from electric (coil) stoves versus gas stoves? how many fires are started in electric stove v. gas homes?

      If coil stoves are dangerous, are we going to ban electric coils too (and go with induction)? Induction ain’t cheap for the bottom 50%.

      How does stove pollution compare to VOC (volatile organic compound) pollution from stuff like carpets, furniture, etc.?

      1. some guy

        And how much carcino-propellant/ carcino-accelerant electrosmog do induction stoves give off?

    2. TimH

      …burn hydrocarbons inside a closed breathing space.

      That’s any cooking using oil…

      In the US, I’ve not seen a single kitchen with appropriate vent and fan above the cooktop. Absolute worst are designs with MWO above the cooktop. A good kitchen range hood will cost more than a good dishwasher. https://www.sakurausa.com/ for example

  3. eg

    I guess I might be more exercised about emissions from my gas stove (we’ve had them for over 25 years now) if I didn’t also have two gas fireplaces, one of which is more than 25 years old and has a permanently burning pilot light.

    I do have CO2 monitors (one for the bedrooms, another in the room with the old gas fireplace) so I’m not completely oblivious, but I don’t anticipate replacing my stove (it’s 5 years old) anytime soon.

  4. lyman alpha blob

    I really don’t understand this move to ban rather expensive to replace appliances and machinery. In our town there was a push to ban gas lawn mowers and leaf blowers, which the city council wisely decided not to implement. Replacing a lawn mower is fairly costly and these types of bans make it so that only rich people can afford all the PMC mandated lifestyle modifications. A subsidy or rebate to encourage people to buy moderately expensive items like this would go a lot farther, and without ticking the majority of people off.

    If people want to ban something to help the environment, start with plastics.

    1. .human


      Also, the West could stop manufacturing war materiel just to blow it up.

      There are more pressing uses, depending on your POV, for finite resources.

    2. NoFreeWill

      All of these things should absolutely be banned and replaced by electric equivalents, but the replacement should be paid for by the government and get ppl upgraded equipment, i.e. induction stoves and fanciest (but most efficient) electrical mowers possible.

      But that wouldn’t fly because socialism, so I guess we get the ban without the real replacement money so the burden falls on the consumer as usual.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        I’m all in favor of electric equivalents providing the electricity isn’t produced by just burning coal or some other fossil fuel – not really reducing emissions much or at all that way.

        But I’d go a little further and ban the electric equivalents in some cases too, given government help. For example there is no need whatsoever for any kind of leaf blower – pick up a rake and do the environment and yourself a favor by getting a little exercise.

        1. some guy

          Are fancy home-owners prepared to pay a high thriving wage to their lawn-care rent-a-slaves who would be forced to give up their leaf blowers under this concept? How about office-owners?

      2. redleg

        Personally, I’ll cook on a wood stove before i’d switch to an electric one. What’s next- banning fireplaces and campfires?
        This is utterly ridiculous. There’s far more important things to focus on than stoves, FFS. Shipping and global supply chains are far more polluting than stoves, as are wars. How about devoting the stove resources to providing universal free heath care.

      3. Piotr Berman

        When I was a lad, 60-ties and 70-ties in Poland, reaper was a predominant method of mowing. You need to grow taller grass, and make hay afterwards using a rake. In turn, hay goes to a dairy farm. If you have a goat or a sheep, you can employ it directly to clip the grass. Nowadays we also pay attention to methane, so kangaroos should replace ruminants.

        1. JBird4049

          I don’t know if any American could be convinced to use a sickle. I have used a manual push lawnmower. Aside from maybe needing to worry about keeping the blades sharp, it is fine for the average yard. You just have to sweat a little.

  5. The Rev Kev

    Just going to spitball it here. So if about 30% of homes in the US have gas stoves and the Federal government just up and bans them, then will the US electrical grid be able to cope with a roughly 30% increase of demand as people are forced to switch over to electricity? States like Texas are already having their electrical grid being severally tested with variations in temperatures alone. Come to think of it, are there even the number of electricians in the US that could get this work down before the ban comes in? Maybe they should partly kick this can down the road. Just say no more gas stoves installed in any new places and if your home/restaurant/etc. gets renovated, then the gas stove comes out.

    1. Neutrino

      Big idea folks do not spend their time thinking about minutiae like grid capacity. They have people for that. /s

      See electric car charging as one example.

  6. Ergo Sum

    “The implication appears to be that using a gas stove may be even more dangerous than second-hand smoke.”
    But… isn’t the “second hand cooking” less dangerous than second hand smoking? If it is, why tobacco products had not been banned as of yet and going for the gas stove instead?

    Aside from that…

    When was the last time the government, pretty much any government, had listened to what the majority of people are saying? As far as I can remember that did not happen, unless some corporation/oligarch support the proposal…

  7. New Okie

    While I am concerned with the health impacts of gas stoves (at least when used without a ventilation fan) … What about off-grid houses? Using electricity to cook when one is off grid requires a great deal of battery storage or an impractically frequent use of a generator. But perhaps making off grid living harder is seen as an additional benefit by the authors of this legislation.

    That said, I do wish someone would develop a vented gas stove (in other words, like a wood stove, where the exhaust air never enters the home).

  8. Cassandra

    Here’s a thought… how about if we ban blowing up enormous high-pressure gas pipelines?

  9. johnnyme

    Less natural gas going to U.S. customers means more natural gas can be liquified and sold to Europe at a substantial markup.

  10. Rip Van Winkle

    The various imbeciles and demagogues in the government, especially the executive branch, just make – up. My read of the U.S. Constitution did not find the terms “emergency”, “mandate”, proclamation” or “executive order”.

    50 years ago, on a Saturday morning kids show –

    “I’m just a bill. Yes, I’m only a bill. And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill. To the capital city. But today I am still just a bill. Boy: Gee, Bill, you certainly have a lot of patience and courage. Bill: Well I got this far. When I started, I wasn’t even a bill, I was just an idea.”

    I did find this in the Constitution, though –

    Tenth Amendment
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    “The Country has never been so divided!” – that’s because The Most Important People can’t mind their own business.

    Disclaimer: I get that folks living in the Acela Corridor and US Highway 101 are a lot smarter and more sophisticated than us hicks in Flyover, so they can do whatever they want where they live. I could never even qualify for a job cutting the grass with a riding lawnmower or installing the air conditioners at a $75,000 / year NESCAC university. So I wouldn’t dare get into anything to do with physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, supply chain, useful life or cradle-to-grave environmental implications on this topic.

    P.S. how environmental friendly are any new appliances loaded with chips?

  11. ddt

    All I know is when a tree fell and brought down our electric transmission lines in Berkeley, CA and it took PG&E 4 days to repair, I could still cook on our gas stove. In the past, I would’ve been able to talk on the landline also but not anymore.

  12. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

    We live in the country and have a propane stove. When we lose electricity, which we we do at least once a year often for multiple days, it sure is good to be able to cook.

    1. JonnyJames

      Good point, a total ban will disproportionately affect rural folks. We have a propane stove as well, and the power has gone out at least 3 or 4 times in the past 12 months.

      Pacific Graft and Extortion Co. (Pacific Gas and Electric) refuses to modernize its ancient, pathetic infrastructure, but charges the highest rates in the USA, but that’s another topic

  13. Merf56

    The easy fix is moving to induction stoves for both professional kitchens and home kitchens. The professional chef son of a friend says they are better because they are safer in a highly emotionally charged commercial kitchen atmosphere yet cook identically.

    1. Kfish

      Sure. Just spend a thousand dollars or so to replace a functioning appliance. Easy.

      I just can’t imagine why the environmental movement is losing support these days, I really can’t.

      1. Merf56

        First no one is ripping out stoves or forcing anyone to do so- stop exaggerating and misleading.
        This is only for new stoves sales -ie a new commercial or residential stove
        Secondly, if you had actually followed this topic instead of typing uninformed outrage you would know that induction is becoming cheaper by the day and right now approximates the price of new gas stoves for both uses.

  14. JonnyJames

    One could argue that a stove ban is not necessary. If adequately warned about possible benzene exposure, consumers can make their own decisions. This will reduce purchases of gas stoves drastically, without a draconian, full-scale ban.

    This whole issue is a very convenient distraction and plays right into the D/R divide and rule tactics.
    The so-called conservatives don’t want a ban, and the so-called liberals want a ban.

    In the big picture, this seems to be a silly diversion from the hardcore corruption, fraud and socioeconomic decay. It’s great for the illusion of choice between the D or R team. In reality, the D/R dictatorship and the oligarchy they represent just laugh while they pillage the society. Cracking job!

    1. some guy

      If that suddenly-manufactured “benzene scare” isn’t just another manufactured lie.

  15. KD

    The implication appears to be that using a gas stove may be even more dangerous than second-hand smoke.

    I guess the only way to stay safe is to make sure you have a cigarette burning before you operate a gas stove.

  16. elkern

    I suspect that the sudden emergence of this issue is a result of the Democratic Party’s [stupid] choice to build its extra-governmental infrastructure around independent NGOs, rather than the GOP’s Think Tank model.

    Both models provide employment to bureaucrats when the other Party holds the White House, and both provide ideological and campaign support; both function as pathways for unlimited & unaccounted financial support for the Party.

    The GOP model is more centralized, with some differentiation based on ideology (mostly along a LIbertarian vs. Traditionalist axis – ie, CATO vs. Heritage).

    The NGO model is decentralized, with each NGO focused on one Issue or Interest Group. They produce Reports supporting established Democratic priorities and/or suggesting new Policies to be pursued, and some materials for release to MSM as opinion pieces, etc.

    There are a few problems with this model.

    One is that each NGO seeks independent funding. This is inefficient (how many Grant Writers does it take to change the Future?), but worse, it can lead to capture (or at least influence) by Corporate interests. In the Gas Stove case, the obvious culprit would be electricity providers. This is particularly dangerous, as those industries are traditionally GOP strongholds (remember ENRON?).

    An even worse problem is just a natural side-effect of putting lotsa people who care about a specific issue in one place: they tend to reinforce their collective biases, ultimately promoting policies which everybody else recognizes as just plain crazy. The issue of “banning gas stoves” is a perfect example.

    Another aspect of this is that these NGOs are generally (or exclusively?) based in urban areas, so they tend to concentrate and amplify the Urbanist biases of Democrats. I expect that this is why these Reports on Gas Stove Safety focus exclusively on methane supplied by pipe in metropolitan areas, ignoring propane (widely used in less densely populated areas, including my house). Also, the people working at these NGOs are all “PMC”, or at least like-minded college-educated people, isolated from the daily concerns of working-class people who are lucky to afford this month’s utility bill and can just hope that the kitchen equipment they lasts another year…

    Sure, in the “long run” (centuries? decades?) “we” (USA? Earthlings?) will need to minimize *all* uses of fossil fuels; and sure, improving public health is important; but it seems obvious to me that there a *many* more important steps toward these goals which should be prioritized over “banning” gas stoves.

    The net result is that Democratic NGOs produce ever more impractical Proposals, and the GOP Think Tanks then amplify the stupidest ones (“Defund The Police!”, “Ban Gas Stoves”).

  17. some guy

    . . . ” In the Gas Stove case, the obvious culprit would be electricity providers. This is particularly dangerous, as those industries are traditionally GOP strongholds (remember ENRON?).” . . .

    The other obvious culprit, if one thinks about it a little deeper, would be the Natural Gas Industry itself, acting through hidden-hand deep-cover secret agents within the relevant NGOs. Such agents would pretend to care about ” indoor health” and “methane emissions” while secretly advancing their secret agenda of banning the use of gas at low prices all over America so as to be able to compress and liquefy all that gas into LNG to sell at high prices all over Europe. To me, the gas industry itself seems like an obvious culprit here, acting through hidden hands and secret agents.

    1. elkern

      That requires a more complex conspiracy with a second-order motivation, so Occam votes against it. NatGas producers are doing Just Fine these days – thanks to Euro sanctions on Russian gas – but at some point, Europe will start buying gas from Russia again, and then US suppliers will need to fall back on domestic consumption. Banning gas stoves – even starting soon – would take years or decades to implement, and by that point, US NatGas will likely be desperate for customers. They certainly deserve blame for a large portion of the problems we face, but not this one.

  18. truly

    Cant we just put a Plexiglas glass shield between the kitchen and the rest of the house? Maybe if you want to be super careful wear a baggy blue while cooking?
    Benzene is a droplet, no?

    Yves, as a beauty professional I appreciate your concern for nail tech worksite conditions. Thank you.

  19. Rip Van Winkle

    Well, woocoodanode?!!!

    Germany Signs Long-Term U.S. LNG Deal To Replace Russian Gas.

    Good thing I have a back yard forest of wild black locust trees I can’t get rid of even if I wanted to for future kindling.

  20. T_Reg

    While this situation is far from the most important, it does remind me of the benefits of a carbon tax-and-rebate-program (tax geological carbon at the source, distribute proceeds equally to the population). People who use more carbon than the average, regardless of how far downstream that usage is, will pay more, those who use less than average will get a rebate. As the tax rate increases, the heavy users will experience economic pressure to reduce their usage, even as everyone experiences pressure to choose the lower-carbon options. And no bureaucratic baloney needed. No gas stove ban, no EV tax credits, no CAFE standards (including the outrageously counterproductive “light duty trucks” category), etc.

  21. Synoia

    Well you can use a Braai, a south African barbecue.

    The most popular is the length ways half 40 gallon drum. The fuel is wood.

    Preferable used outside, which in South Africa , and the adjoining countries,is very close to all year round.

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