In February of this year, Democrats and climate activists seized on a study published by a group called Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), and the conclusions of the paper sent alarmists into a frenzy – Claiming they had evidence that natural gas-based appliances including gas stoves create emissions that are dangerous to human health, causing asthma and impairing cognitive development, specifically in children.
The Biden Administration's Department of Energy reviewed the study and discussion mounted over the possibility of an incremental ban on various gas appliances, including up to 50% of gas stove models.
The RMI study turned out to be yet another example of the political co-option of science as a weapon for the Net Zero agenda regularly touted by the United Nations, Democrats in the US, and progressive politicians across Europe.
Almost immediately the findings of the study were debunked. As the American Gas Association observed in a responding statement, the RMI testing did not include real-life appliance usage, and:
“Ignored [previous] literature, including one study of data collected from more than 500,000 children in 47 countries that ‘detected no evidence’ of an association between the use of gas as a cooking fuel and either asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis.”
Rather suspiciously, Biden's Energy Secretary, Jennifer Granholm, met privately with the leader of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Jules Kortenhorst, in 2021. Around a year later, the institute produced a study that defies all previous science on the health risks of natural gas appliances and which serves the interests of Biden's climate change policies. Granholm would later throw support behind the findings of the RMI study, stating that:
"We can and must FIX this...Through [President Biden's] Inflation Reduction Act, Americans will have greater access to Electric and Induction Cooktops: which keeps pollution out of the home. Cooks food faster. Helps families save money."
It should also be noted that RMI has been the recipient of millions of dollars of DOE funding in the past, including a $4.4 million grant in March 2022.
As the truth about the RMI findings was revealed and the data found inadequate, pressure mounted from various groups, including conservatives, for the White House to abandon plans to restrict gas appliances. The White House seemingly relented. Democrats screeched about the “paranoia” of conservatives, asserting that no one was coming to take people's gas stoves. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argued that:
"This is about a decision about what may be sold and regulations in the far future, OK? So everyone, just take the temperature down a little bit. No secret government agency is going to bust down your door and take your gas stove away...”
This kind of gaslighting (no pun intended) has become the standard response by Democrats when they are caught in a compromising position. When a strategy falls apart, they assert that the attack never happened and it was all in our minds. However, after the failure of Democrats to implement restrictions at the federal level, they have simply moved on to other avenues.
The reality is that the RMI study was never about public health, it was only a means to frighten Americans into accepting climate change controls on petroleum and gas. The plan is obvious – Start with something small, such as gas stoves or gas heat, and then use that as a springboard to eventually ban or tax all carbon-based energy.
Multiple Democrat-controlled cities and states are now instituting restrictions or timed bans on natural gas appliances, including San Francisco, LA, San Diego, Seattle, and New York. These cities are phasing out gas in new homes within the next 5 years. California is planning to phase out gas appliances by 2030. The state of New York under Kathy Hochul is nearing a deal to ban gas appliances in new homes by 2025. As is often the case, progressive cities and states tend to act as test cases for future bans at the national level.
To get insight into what climate change authoritarians intend for the US in the future, one need only look at Europe and the UK. In Britain, households are to be financially penalized if they do not switch away from gas under net zero policies to be unveiled soon.
The UK secretary of state for energy security and net zero said: “If we want people to switch to an electricity-based economy, it would be better if [levies] were shifted onto the gas side of things...It automatically makes the economics of an electric-driven economy better.”
In the US, over 38% of all households rely on natural gas for energy. In states like California, it is estimated that energy usage would have to plummet (along with living standards) if all homes used electricity only. For global carbon standards to be met, climate scientists argue that population growth will have to stop, and over time human numbers would have to be systematically reduced through birth control methods.
Setting aside the fact that climate science is itself rooted in numerous inaccuracies and fallacies, the logistics of shifting the population away from oil and gas energy are impossible without placing massive strain on existing electrical grids and destabilizing the economy. This is perhaps why Democrats and climate alarmists often lie about their intentions and use subversion and incrementalism to enact policy – They don't want to be forced to admit the true cost of their Net Zero world and risk a furious response from the public.