As the old Marx Brothers joke goes, “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”
Doreen Harris, president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, told lawmakers that she was setting the record straight, and that “We are not taking away gas stoves, as one example of perhaps misinformation we need to correct.”
But the Climate Action Council that she Co-Chaired produced a Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) Scoping Plan – which she voted to approve – that says the state will in fact be taking away gas stoves.
It’s right there on page 190, in the chapter on buildings, for all the world to read.
So where’s the misinformation?
Granted, there’s no plan to have an oven constabulary storm into homes and rip out existing ranges, but there is an explicit plan to police their replacement.
Granted also that Governor Hochul avoided a call to ban replacement gas stoves in her State of the State address, but that doesn’t turn down the heat on this issue. 2035 is 12 years away, leaving plenty of time for Hochul or a future governor to call for implementing the Scoping Plan proposal. Or the legislature could enact legislation on its own.
It also leaves plenty of time for the Department of Environmental Conservation – which is supposed to take its cue for implementation of the CLCPA from the Scoping Plan – to enact regulations without any direct prompting from the governor or legislature.
And Hochul did call for banning replacement fossil fuel furnaces in existing homes, as well as incentivizing homeowners to switch to all-electric. As less gas is used, the per-customer cost of maintaining the gas system will increase, making it unaffordable to continue cooking with gas.
Ultimately, the Scoping Plan speaks for itself, as well as for the Climate Action Council’s intentions. At more than 400 pages, few people are going to read the whole document. But those who at least look at selected chapters of it should have no qualms about believing their own eyes.