Free range: Legislature approves bill banning local prohibitions on gas stoves
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 11/22/22-Sen. Jay Collins, R-Tampa, speaks during Organizational Session, Tuesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

Roughly 8% of Florida homes use gas stoves.

New statewide protections for gas stoves and other major fuel-powered appliances are one signature from becoming law.

Senators voted 33-4 for HB 1281, which would prohibit local governments in Florida from restricting the private and commercial use of gas stoves and other major appliances, including water heaters, fireplaces, generators and clothes dryers.

If approved by Gov. Ron DeSantis — a near certainty — the bill by Tampa Sen. Jay Collins and North Port Republican Rep. James Buchanan would go into effect July 1.

Collins, who runs a nonprofit barbecue catering service that has provided food to Hurricane Ian victims as part of a state-funded recovery effort, said the measure is a needed shield against a mounting trend of governmental overreach targeting nonelectric appliances.

He noted a resolution Tampa officials tried passing in 2021 to ban new permits for appliances that use natural gas and propane and installations of new gas appliances. Similar efforts have occurred in San Francisco and New York, he said.

“You don’t have to look far to find local governments that have set their sights on our gas stoves,” he said. “That will not be the case here in the Sunshine State. Floridians love the safe, reliable and affordable aspect that gas appliances bring to their families. The legislation we passed today will give Floridians confidence that they will always have the freedom to choose the appliance that best suits their needs.”

Collins and Buchanan filed twin bills responding to a since-walked-back proposal from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission head Richard Trumka Jr. about federally banning gas stoves. DeSantis reacted indignantly to the idea, proposing a permanent $7 million tax exemption in January for the appliances.

A Harvard Harris Poll from around the same time indicated most Americans oppose banning gas stoves, which just 8% of homes in Florida use, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The “government scheme” to take gas stoves violates Floridians’ “rights and freedoms,” Buchanan said.

“Freedom reigns here in the Sunshine State,” he said. “With this legislation, Floridians can rest assured that they have a choice of which energy they decide to use to feed their families.”

A press note from Buchanan’s office said natural gas generates $3.53 billion in economic impact and creates 44,000 new jobs for Florida workers yearly. Dale Calhoun, executive director of the Florida Natural Gas Association, said HB 1281 “provides much-needed protection to the more than 700K homes and 70K businesses” in Florida that use natural gas.

“The Florida Legislature sent a clear message with the passage of HB 1281: hands off our gas stoves,” he said.

Before the bill’s passage on the Senate floor Friday, West Palm Beach Democratic Sen. Bobby Powell asked Collins whether “a proliferation of gas stoves being denied” prompted the bill’s creation.

Collins said there were “over 100” attempts nationwide, including in his home city.

“This has been a problem,” he said. “Most certainly, it’s been brought up by several people in my community directly who were concerned about that.”

Hollywood Democratic Sen. Jason Pizzo told Collins he supported the bill and said he planned to ask the artist behind one of two pieces of artwork in his office — a photo of a gas stove — for permission to give the piece to Collins as a gift.

Friday was Collins’ 45th birthday.

“I know this is one of those messaging kind of bills,” he said. “Whatever — I’m for it.”

All four “no” votes on the bill came from Democrats: Powell and Sens. Lori Berman, Lauren Book and Tina Polsky.

Democratic Sen. Tracie Davis voted against the measure after the roll call.

The bill cleared the House 98-16 on Wednesday. As in the upper chamber, the bill advanced with all “no” votes coming from Democrats, with others in the party supporting it.


A.G. Gancarski and Drew Wilson of Florida Politics contributed to this report.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.

One comment

  • Michael K

    May 1, 2023 at 11:24 am

    Another solution in search of a problem.

    Meanwhile, nearly one million Floridians might lose their health insurance, and home and auto insurance rates are skyrocketing.

    And by the way, induction is far more efficient, safer, economical and environmentally friendly.

Comments are closed.


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