Republican Representative Bill Huizenga of Michigan has raised concerns over the Department of Energy’s work with the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), which has significant ties to the Chinese government. The RMI has been pushing for a ban on gas stoves and has received millions of dollars in federal funding for various green energy projects.
Huizenga, who introduced the STOVE Act to stop any potential ban, has called for honest answers from the Biden Administration regarding the RMI’s elevated access.
The RMI is a member of the China Clean Transportation Partnership and has its only office outside the US in Beijing. The group’s board member, Wei Ding, previously served as the chairman of the China International Capital Corporation, a bank partially owned by the Chinese government.
The RMI collaborated with the Chinese state agency National Development and Reform Commission to study net-zero pathways for the nation. The group’s argument against gas stove usage is part of its push for economy-wide electrification to combat climate change.
Recently, the RMI funded a study highlighting the public health dangers posed by gas stove usage, which was cited in a Bloomberg article in early January that included comments from a Consumer Product Safety Commission member who told the outlet a gas stove ban was “on the table.”
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and White House climate czar Ali Zaidi have both met with RMI leaders on separate occasions.
Republican lawmakers have expressed concerns about how the Biden Administration has consulted with the RMI on multiple occasions. Rep. Huizenga and Rep. Alex Mooney of West Virginia introduced the Stop Trying to Obsessively Vilify Energy Act in January, which would prohibit federal agencies from banning gas stoves or other gas-powered appliances.
The Biden Administration has said it does not support a ban on gas stoves, and Granholm has called such a ban “ridiculous.” However, concerns have been raised over the RMI’s ties to the Chinese government, and several Republican lawmakers have criticized the administration’s consultation with the organization.
The DOE has not responded to requests for comment, and the White House has stated that its meetings with the RMI were about infrastructure and job creation. Despite these assurances, Rep. Huizenga has urged agencies to be cautious in investigating any related idea that would impose costs on American families.
As Republican voters, it is important to remain vigilant and informed about potential threats to our energy independence and economic well-being.