NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The gas stove war continues in Tennessee.
A Senate committee has advanced the bill that would prohibit any local government in the state from prohibiting gas stoves or other appliances. Senate Bill 367 by Sen. Page Walley (R-Savannah) cleared the Senate State and Local Government Committee on a party line vote.
As introduced, the bill “prohibits political subdivisions from prohibiting, based on the type or source of energy to be delivered to an individual customer, the sale of installation of an appliance utilized for cooking, space heating, water heating or another end use.”
The origins of the bill, Walley said during the committee hearing, stemmed from discussion at the federal level of the possibility of banning gas stoves from homes.
Last month the Consumer Product Safety Commission created a firestorm when a member floated the idea of banning future sales of gas stoves after they were linked to childhood asthma. The CPSC walked back the suggestion, but Walley and Rep. Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon) introduced the legislation anyway.
“There’s been a concern recently about the possibility of a federal government ban on natural gas appliances, and it was spiked by some recent flawed research,” Walley said in committee. “While the federal government agencies have been kind of back stroking on the ban, it’s important, I think, that our state law is clear that we’re going to offer consumers choices.”
He added that the bill would “make it very clear in state law that businesses are free to choose the type of appliances they want to use in their home – citizens and businesses are free to choose.”
Walley was questioned by Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville) on what the “urgency” to pass the bill was. The Democrat said he was concerned about overreach.
“It always makes me nervous when we at the state start limiting the policymaking authority we have in our local governments,” he said.
Ultimately, the bill passed the committee on a party line vote, with only Yarbro and Memphis Democrat Sen. Sara Kyle opposed. The House version of the bill will be taken up Wednesday, Feb. 15.