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Gas Stoves Have Ignited A Firestorm

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Jan 13, 2023
Gas Stoves Have Ignited A Firestorm

This week, a federal regulator called gas stoves a “hidden hazard,” saying a ban on them was in the realm of possibility. President Biden and the Consumer Product Safety Commission quickly walked back that statement, but not before it ignited a firestorm among Republican politicians. So why the big kerfuffle over gas stoves? In 2021, we investigated the debate over gas vs. electric stoves, including the ad campaigns that have fueled it for over a century. While more people in the U.S. today have electric, gas stoves have won the battle for prestige — chefs prefer it. Now, as the gas stove is at the center of a much bigger fight about climate change and public health, gas companies are using the gas stove to try to ensure their future. Sporkful producer Andres O’Hara explains, then tries to convince Dan, a gas stove loyalist, to try a different way of cooking.

Correction: Due to an error, we misstated when the federal regulator commented on gas stoves. It was this week, on January 9, 2023, not last week. We have edited the episode to reflect this correction.

This episode originally aired on June 28, 2021.

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell. 

Show Notes

Bloomberg article about potential regulation of gas stoves, including statements from Consumer Product Safety Commission's Richard Trumka Jr.

Rebecca Leber’s reporting on gas stove influencers and the larger fight between gas utilities and cities fighting climate change

The Rocky Mountain Institute’s report on gas stoves and indoor air pollution

The American Gas Association’s evaluation of the Rocky Mountain Institute’s report

The EPA’s information on indoor air quality, the sources of nitrogen dioxide, and its effect on health

La Ñapa restaurant in Brooklyn

Reviews and articles on induction ranges and single burner cooktops by Consumer ReportsReviewed.comWirecutter, and Cooks Illustrated

Our thanks to Grant Barrett at the radio show and podcast A Way With Words; Bruce Nilles at Energy Innovation; Professor Shelly Miller at the University of Colorado, Boulder; Professor Scott Misture at Alfred University; and Panama Bartholomy at the Building Decarbonization Coalition. 

Interstitial music in this episode by Black Label Music:

  • "Hang Tight" by Hayley Briasco
  • "Private Detective" by Cullen Fitzpatrick
  • "Happy With You" by Ken Brahmstedt
  • "Bourbon Fanfare" by Devon Gray
  • "Shake and Bake" by Hayley Briasco
  • "De Splat" by Paul Fonfara

Photo courtesy of rhodesj/Flickr CC.

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