Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has signed legislation that says local governments can't ban gas stoves, even though no current city in the state is pursuing such an action. The legislation was introduced amid fears earlier this year that the Biden administration was considering a nationwide ban on gas stoves due to growing health concerns over the appliances, the AP reports. While the White House has said President Biden would not support a ban, a Consumer Product Safety Commission official sparked suspicion when he said "any option is on the table" when it came to regulating gas stoves.
Under the legislation Lee, a Republican, approved last week, local governments cannot regulate the "type of source of energy" delivered to customers for utility service connection or appliances. The legislation went into effect immediately after receiving strong support inside the GOP-dominated Tennessee Statehouse. "There's been some conversation at the federal level at looking at discontinuing appliances that run off natural gas," Republican Sen. Page Walley said last month while explaining the need for his bill. "If we as citizens want to continue to have natural gas appliances then we can continue to do that no matter if a federal agency advises against that."
There is good evidence that gas stoves emit harmful levels of oxides of nitrogen, which is known to cause asthma, Dr. Aaron Bernstein, interim director of the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at Harvard told the AP in January. Research has found that gas stoves in California are leaking cancer-causing benzene, while another study has determined that gas stoves in the US are contributing to global warming by putting 2.6 million tons of methane in the air every year even when turned off. Across the country, local governments—largely in Democratic-leaning states—have begun phasing out gas appliances to help cut climate pollution. Some Republican-controlled states are responding by prohibiting cities and counties from placing limits on energy options.
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