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City makes pitch for switch to electric


Did they ever pry that gun away from Charleton Heston, or did they just bury him with it?

Inspired by Heston, U.S. Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, made a similar vow last week, though it will be tougher to bury him with the object of his devotion.

“If the maniacs in the White House come for my stove, they can pry it from my cold, dead hands,” he declared. I assume he’ll die with oven mitts on?

The freakout following a suggestion by a member of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that a ban on gas stoves could be under consideration comes at the same time the city of Las Cruces is sponsoring a big event at the Convention Center trying to convince residents to switch from gas to electric, and not just with stoves.

The PowerUP Las Cruces Expo and Training will be held Friday and Saturday, and is intended to persuade us to change from gas (or, as they put it, “fossil fuel appliances and/or vehicles”) to electric.

Why should the city get involved in the free-market competition between those selling gas appliances and those selling electric? Lots of honest small businesspeople in our community make a living selling and servicing gas furnaces and water heaters.

The answer is the impact on both our personal health and the environment. We’ve long known about the adverse consequences of gas-powered vehicles, but the notion that furnaces, water heaters and, yes, even stoves should be seen in the same light is fairly new.

A 2022 study found that nearly 13 percent of childhood asthma cases in the U.S. can be attributed to exposure to nitrogen dioxide released during cooking with a gas stove. Other toxic pollutants released into our homes by cooking with gas or propane stoves include carbon monoxide and formaldehyde, according to an article by Professor of Environmental Health Jonathan Levy.

While the federal government is still a long way away from coming after Rep. Jackson’s stove, states and local governments are moving more quickly. California will ban the sale of natural-gas appliances starting in 2030.

I understand the health and environmental arguments behind that decision, but still think it’s the wrong approach. Education is the answer. Once people understand the dangers, most will want to keep their families safe. I hope this week’s expo will help people make better-informed decisions.

But, for those who think a steak isn’t the same when cooked on an electric grill, I get it. As long as we know the risks, we should all be able to weigh those against the rewards and make our own decisions.