Why Everyone's So Upset About The Gas Vs Electric Stove Debate

Gas stoves have been around for a long time. In fact, the original gas stove was invented in 1826 and started to gain traction in the early 1900's, back before the Great Depression (per ThoughtCo.). According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 38% of American households currently use this type of equipment, with California and New Jersey reflecting the most prominent usage as of 2020. So if the gas stove has been around for over 200 years and is occupying most kitchens in the United States, why are issues with it only being brought to our attention now?

Bloomberg first reported this week that the US Consumer Product Safety Commission is considering a ban on gas stoves altogether. The agency is claiming that this kind of oven emits dangerous indoor air pollutants which can lead to certain health problems — more specifically, asthma and respiratory issues. This is not exactly a new phenomenon, as gas stoves have been known to release carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and other toxicities for quite some time (via the California Air Resources Board). Unfortunately, it's possible for people and pets to be harmed by cooking on a gas stove, especially when poor ventilation is involved.

Biden isn't on board with the gas stove ban

This possible ban has the internet debating between gas stoves and electric stoves, resulting in the White House weighing in on the problem. CNN Politics noted that President Biden does not support this ban. This is an interesting take, considering that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety commissioner, Richard Trumka Jr, who is behind the ban, was appointed by Biden himself. Trumka even said the appliance was a "hidden hazard" in an interview with Bloomberg.

According to The Washington Post, Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York have already taken action to ban gas appliances in new homes or apartments. In a tweet from January 11, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission chair Alex Hoehn-Saric said that the group is "looking for ways to reduce related indoor air quality hazards," but is currently "not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so."

Some Twitter users claim that this ban is "looking for a problem" while others say "there's no reason not to" ban the cooking equipment and switch to electric stoves. Either way, it doesn't look like the issue is settling anytime soon.