In The News
Huizenga Discusses STOVE Act, Holding Bureaucrats Accountable in the Detroit News
A Michigan lawmaker has introduced a bill in Congress that would preemptively prohibit the federal government from restricting or banning the use of gas stoves, though the head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission recently insisted it has no plans to do so.
The legislation from Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga of Holland is dubbed the Stop Trying to Obsessively Vilify Energy Act, or STOVE Act for short. The legislation would bar any federal agency from proposing or implementing a rule or guidance that restricts or bans the use or purchase of gas-powered stoves, cooktops, ranges or ovens.
Last week, [Richard Trumka Jr.] reiterated that the Consumer Product Safety Commission could consider a range of options regarding gas stoves in an interview with Bloomberg. “This is a hidden hazard,” Trumka said. “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”
The idea led to a backlash among Republican lawmakers and others. In an interview, Huizenga noted that Trumka isn't the first government official to suggest banning fossil-fueled appliances.
"There’s a lot of regulators who float a lot of dumb ideas and, frankly, if you don’t give those regulators pushback they'll just keep going," Huizenga said. "I knew that if we didn't attempt to address this, it would just continue on and get legs. I just don't believe that this is the right direction for us to go."
Huizenga suggested that bureaucrats and liberals are trying to use the public health argument about gas stoves as a "side door" to accomplishing their true agenda, which is to ban fossil fuel appliances for climate purposes.
He said his team had drafted the legislation before the Biden administration reversed course through Hoehn-Saric's statement on Jan. 11 that his commission wouldn't look to ban gas stoves.
"They burned their fingers on the stove," Huizenga said. "The reaction and pushback was so dramatic from both consumers and policymakers that they said, 'This isn’t going to fly right now, so we’ll put it on the back burner.'"
Huizenga doesn't think the debate is going away. He noted that Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, introduced a similar bill, and he expects House GOP leadership will take up one or a combination of both bills to the House floor for a vote. Its prospects in the Democrat-controlled Senate are less clear.
"The longer-term war on energy that we’ve been witnessing is real, and I expect we will try to address that because we need to start setting some boundaries to where bureaucrats are going," Huizenga said. "We have got to claw back our authority as a legislative body."
This piece was originally published by the Detroit News on January 16, 2023 and is available here.