A federal official says he’s not out to ban gas stoves, the new chair of the House Energy Committee details big plans and ocean heat breaks its own record.
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Safety chair says he’s not seeking gas stove ban
The chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a Biden appointee, said Wednesday he is not seeking to ban new gas stoves.
The statement from CPSC Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric comes amid significant backlash from both Republicans and some conservative Democrats.
“I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so,” said Hoehn-Saric in a written statement.
So what is going on? He clarified the commission is “researching gas emissions in stoves and exploring new ways to address health risks.” He also said it is engaged in “strengthening voluntary safety standards” for the appliances.
How did this start? Fellow commissioner Richard Trumka, also a Biden appointee, has floated new regulations or a ban on the stoves, as The Hill first reported last month.
The issue received new attention this week after Trumka reiterated the sentiment in an interview with Bloomberg News that was published this week.
The issue was met with condemnation from Republican lawmakers, including House Energy and Commerce Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), who pledged oversight while talking to reporters Wednesday and also released a statement condemning the potential for a ban.
“It is about telling the American people the federal government knows best and will decide what kind of car they can drive, how they can heat their house, and now how they’re allowed to cook food for their families,” she said. “Energy and Commerce Republicans will hold President Biden accountable for his war on American energy and bring down energy costs.”
Read more about the controversy here.
Key House Republican floats energy package
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) on Wednesday signaled the committee will move on a larger energy legislative package under her leadership.
What would that mean? Asked to outline her priorities as chair, Rodgers said “There’s a lot in these packages, but I’d say it’s focused on securing American resources, it is [focused] on permitting reform, it is [focused] on modernizing energy infrastructure, [liquefied natural gas] exports.”
“We need to be promoting carbon capture and sequestration, promoting renewables, promoting nuclear power, American needs to lead on next-generation nuclear energy,” she said while speaking at the American Petroleum Institute’s State of American Energy event in Washington, D.C.
Touting nuclear: The Washington state Republican particularly signaled support for nuclear energy, arguing the U.S. “needs to lead on next-generation nuclear energy.”
- Nuclear energy as a fuel source was broadly phased out in the late 20th century amid opposition by environmentalists and fears after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
- Nuclear energy proponents have called for a reevaluation as a renewable source in recent years, specifically pointing to Europe’s energy crisis following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the domestic energy supply nuclear power could potentially have provided.
Ocean heat sets another record high
The ocean saw record high temperatures once again in 2022, according to new research published on Tuesday.
“The inexorable climb in ocean temperatures is the inevitable outcome of Earth’s energy imbalance, primarily associated with increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases,” said the paper, published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences.
“The global long-term warming trend is so steady and robust that annual records continue to be set with each new year,” it added.
Global ocean temperatures have continually broken records in recent years. Two separate data sets evaluated in the paper — one from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and another from U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) — showed relatively similar increases in temperatures in the last year.
Ocean temperatures, which are measured in zettajoules (ZJ), have typically increased by about 5.3 or 5.5 ZJ a year over the last six decades, according to NOAA and CAS, respectively. However, between 2021 and 2022, ocean temperatures increased by about 9.1 or 10.9 ZJ, per the two data sets.
- Since the late 1980s, the ocean has been warming at a rate three to four times faster than earlier decades, the paper noted.
- For instance, CAS data showed that ocean temperatures increased by about 2.3 ZJ per year between 1958 and 1985. However, since 1986, it has increased by about 8.7 ZJ a year.
Read more from The Hill’s Julia Shapero.
WHAT WE’RE READING
- The New Soldiers in Propane’s Fight Against Climate Action: Television Stars (The New York Times)
- Burning Man sues BLM over geothermal project (Nevada Current)
- 21% of Department of the Interior Passwords Were Easily Cracked, Security Audit Finds (Gizmodo)
- Natural-Gas Prices Have Fallen Back to Earth—Except in California (The Wall Street Journal)
- The US was poised to pass the biggest environmental law in a generation. What went wrong? (Vox)
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