More cities are banning use of gas stoves and chefs aren’t pleased

As states and municipalities search for new ways to cut carbon emissions, the fate of the gas stove has sparked searing debate between lawmakers, chefs, and restaurant associations. Those in favor of electrification say it’s more environmentally friendly, and that today’s induction stoves, which heat cookware through electromagnetic current, are superior to gas. Opponents say this argument fundamentally misunderstands the art of cooking. When it comes to achieving the perfect flame-sear, char, or flavor, they argue, electric-powered appliances just aren’t up to scratch. The battle has even landed in court. The Wall Street Journal reports that when Berkeley, California, became the first city to ban natural-gas connections in new homes and restaurants in 2019, the state’s restaurant association sued. More cities, like Denver and New York, have followed Berkeley’s lead, restricting gas hook-ups in new buildings. In turn, some states like Texas and Georgia have enacted preemptive measures, prohibiting bans before they’re even proposed. While EPA data showed fossil fuels burned for energy accounted for 13 percent of the country’s yearly carbon emissions in 2019, a 2015 survey from the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that less than 3 percent of natural gas used for at-home cooking contributed to emissions. The debate shows no sign of fizzling out. Natural gas lobbyists have reportedly launched a PR campaign, paying social media influencers for posts that glamorize the joys of cooking with gas. 

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