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Director Blue Blog spot
January 16, 2023
The green energy group behind a study cited in Consumer Product Safety commissioner Richard Trumka Jr.’s call to ban gas stoves has partnered with the Chinese government to implement an “economy-wide transformation” away from oil and gas.
Colorado-based nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute, which published the December study that attributes 13 percent of U.S. childhood asthma cases to gas-stove use, is hardly staffed by an objective group of scientists.
The organization is demanding “systemic change and economy-wide transformation” to address a climate crisis it says we must go to great lengths to avoid. In 2013, for example, the Rocky Mountain Institute joined forces with China’s National Development and Reform Commission—the government agency tasked with planning the communist nation’s economy—to produce a report that advised China to replace existing appliances and generators with “clean energy technologies.” The commission went on to set climate goals that included energy reduction targets. When local provinces in 2021 failed to meet those targets, the commission pushed them to implement electricity rations, prompting “dimmed traffic lights that cause chaos” and “half-cooked rice in rice cookers.”
The Rocky Mountain Institute is far from the first green energy group to advocate for the banning of gas stoves, which nearly 40 percent of U.S. homes use. But the nonprofit’s newfound influence reflects the Biden administration’s alignment with the left’s loudest climate activists. President Joe Biden has already proposed a natural gas phaseout in federal buildings, which would ban fossil-fuel equipment in new buildings by 2030. Leading green energy groups applauded the move, which will cost taxpayers millions of dollars annually, the Washington Free Beacon reported in December.
Beyond its public mission statement and work with the Chinese government, the Rocky Mountain Institute’s biases are reflected in its gas-stove study, academic leaders told the Free Beacon. The study—which spans just nine paragraphs—was based on a hodgepodge of different data and methodologies spanning various years and countries, ranging from 2019 U.S. Census data to conclusions from a 2018 analysis in Australia.
Structuring a study that way is questionable, according to Yale University professor of medicine Dr. Harvey Risch. Moreover, the conclusions of the institute’s study differs from what the organization is saying publicly.
“This paper does not do any research on possible association between residential natural gas use and risk of childhood asthma,” Risch told the Free Beacon. “It only calculates a percent of childhood asthma that could be attributable to residential natural gas use and risk of childhood asthma.”
That distinction is important, Risch said, particularly when calling for such a dramatic public policy proposal that would change how tens of millions of Americans prepare their food. The study was also ethically dubious, according to Risch, as its authors stated they held no conflicts of interest despite working for climate change activist groups. The Rocky Mountain Institute’s board, for example, is filled with executives at green energy corporations with a financial interest in banning the use of fossil fuels.
I’ll try to be back later, busy,busy morning