Stove politics leaves PNW students asking why

PNW students are wondering why Washington politicians are trying to politicize gas stoves. 

“I think it’s a bit of an over-reaction,” said Jake Ryan, a senior History major. “This whole farce about gas stoves is comical at best. … How can a political party prepare for war over something as mundane as a kitchen appliance?” 

Gas stoves became controversial in January, when one member of the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission suggested they may lead to child respiratory issues. A study published last year reported that more than 12% of childhood asthma cases in the U.S. can be attributed to gas stove use. 

In January, CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. told Bloomberg news service that gas stoves are “a hidden hazard. … Products that can’t be made safe, can be banned.” 

In response, several members of Congress – most of them Republican – immediately vowed to block a government ban on the appliances – even though no such ban has been proposed. One congressman, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), tweeted: “Guns. God. Gas stoves.”  

His colleague, Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), tweeted: “I’ll NEVER give up my gas stove. If the maniacs in the White House come for my stove, they can pry it from my cold dead hands. COME AND TAKE IT!!”

The social media uproar grew so loud that CPSC Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric issued a statement: “I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so.”

Students are bemused by the furor.

“I think that a lot of the time it’s all just talk, and many people in general will find any excuse to use the situation to their advantage,” said Litzi Barrera, a junior Nursing major. “Many people … might use the situation to push their own agenda.”

Sophomore Alivia Godfrey believes the hyperbole is overblown.

“I personally don’t see it as a big deal,” she said. “Considering the Democrats and Republicans are extremely divided at this point, any decision one party makes the other will find [to be] a problem.

“At the end of the day we should know the government isn’t gonna ban gas stoves,” she said. 

Some students would prefer Washington focus on things that really matter.

“When it comes to health hazards or risks, gas stoves are the least of our problems,” said junior Shianne Woods, an Education major. “I think we should start with worrying about the health hazards outside of our homes, for example gas powered cars.

“Fighting to ban gas stoves is irrelevant compared to our many issues in America,” she said. “Comments like ‘God, Guns, and Gas Stoves’ [is] undermining behavior.”