Mitchell Rep. Ben Krohmer introduces bill preventing gas stove bans in South Dakota
“We see that when things happen in the coastal areas, a few years later, they start trending toward the Midwest,” said Rep. Ben Krohmer, serving his first term in the House.
PIERRE, S.D. — With New York City phasing out fossil fuels in newly constructed residential buildings by 2027 and a federal agency making headlines for supposedly considering a curtailing of gas stove usage across the nation, Rep. Ben Krohmer, of Mitchell, has introduced a bill to keep any regulations of the sort out of South Dakota.
“We see that when things happen in the coastal areas, a few years later, they start trending toward the Midwest,” said Krohmer, who is serving his first term in the House. “I didn't want to see that start to happen here.”
The proposal, House Bill 1239, blocks any federal, state or local regulations that “prohibit the use, production, manufacture, or transport of fuel gas or fuel gas appliances within the state.”
In practice, it would null any regulation taking aim either at popular cooking or heating methods like natural gas and propane. Introduced on Feb. 1, it carries seven other co-sponsors between the two chambers.
Last month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal regulatory agency, reportedly considered a ban on the cooking method, stemming from new research purporting to connect gas stoves with higher incidences of childhood asthma.
A statement on Jan. 11 from the agency’s chair said the commission was “not looking to ban gas stoves,” although the same message said, “research indicates that emissions from gas stoves can be hazardous, and the CPSC is looking for ways to reduce related indoor air quality hazards.”
According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, about 15% of South Dakota households use natural gas cooking appliances. For heating, around 65% of households in the state use natural gas, liquid petroleum or some other fuel gas.
“This isn't just about gas stoves. In my industry, we've seen natural gas appliances in general kind of always be under attack, whether it's furnaces or water heaters or fireplaces, and I don’t want to see those get banned,” Krohmer said. “People can choose whatever utility or form of heat and cooking they want to use, whatever makes sense to them and works best for them.”
Jason Harward is a Report for America corps reporter who writes about state politics in South Dakota. Contact him at 605-301-0496 or firstname.lastname@example.org.