The Spark That Lit the Gas Stove


On January 1, 2023 it is likely most Americans woke up with a hangover.

On January 1, 2023, it is a almost a certainty that no American woke up worried that the gas stove in their kitchen was secretly killing them.

Within a week, the hangovers had gone away but the nation was being told to be very afraid of the insidious danger that lurked in their kitchens, basements, and grills and that the pernicious fossil fuel known as natural gas must be exiled from modern life.

What happened and why, like so many issues obsessing certain segments of the population such as pronouns and equity and triggers, did the topic of evil gas stoves literally - - go from zero to 100 overnight?

It appears – of course – that California and its Uber-nanny Air Resources Board (CARB) had a significant role to play in yet another instance of the “yesterday it was unheard of, today it is evil” swings that our society has become so vulnerable to of late.

In September, 2022, CARB banned the sale of gas water heaters and furnaces in the state starting in 2030.  This drew some attention - - but as they scheduled a decision on stoves and other appliances until 2025 it did not spark a national debate and was seen for the most part by those on the other side of the Sierra Mountains as wacky California doing wacky stuff, though it did generate this national story in - The Hill.

Shortly before the board’s decision, the Sierra Club and pair of climate and planning activist groups – SPUR - - and RMI - (which, on its own, tried to get the anti-gas ball rolling in 2020 but didn’t make much headway it seemed at the time) - issued a California-centered report on the horrors of all gas appliances.

Read the rest of this piece at The Point.

Thomas Buckley is the former Mayor of Lake Elsinore and a former newspaper reporter. He is currently the operator of a small communications and planning consultancy and can be reached directly at You can read more of his work at

Image: courtesy The Point.