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Biden admin pressured Snopes to change its fact-check rating on rumored gas stove ban, internal emails show

Exclusive: Biden administration officials successfully pressured fact-checking website Snopes to change its assessment of a potential federal ban on gas stoves, according to internal communications.

In early January 2023, Snopes issued a “mixed” rating on claims that the Biden administration was considering banning gas stoves, citing comments from senior officials who oversee product regulation. Just before the fact-finding, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. said such a ban was “on the table.”

“This is a hidden danger,” Trumka told Bloomberg at the time. “All options are on the table. Products that cannot be made safe could be banned.”

A month earlier, Prime Minister Trumka had announced that gas stoves would be banned “whether to significantly reduce emissions or to ban gas stoves completely,” citing climate and health impacts, according to a CBS News report. He said regulation needs to be prioritized.

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Richard Trumka Jr., a Biden appointee to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, has repeatedly suggested the commission is considering banning gas stoves, citing health and climate impacts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call, via Getty Images)

However, Snopes initially gave it a “mixed” rating in response to Trumka’s comments, but the CPSC said it was “not considering banning gas stoves at this time” and changed the rating to “false.” did. Mr. Snopes’ updated article included additional comments from the CPSC and downplayed Mr. Trumka’s earlier statement.

But Snopes changed the article under pressure from the CPSC, according to emails between the CPSC and White House communications officials obtained through an information request by the Functional Government Initiative (FGI), a watchdog group. He says he just did it.

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“Yesterday, we sent a stern letter to this author because the initial allegations were rated as ‘controversial,’” CPSC Director of Public Affairs Pamela Rucker Springs wrote on January 11, 2023, to White House Assistant Press Secretary Michael. he wrote in an email to Kikukawa, including a link to the latest Snopes. Fact check.

Mr. Kikukawa responded enthusiastically, saying that the change would be “very useful in the future.”

gas stove

Mr. Trumka’s comments sparked outrage among consumer advocacy groups, energy industry groups and lawmakers. (Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

When asked about Snopes’ fact-check falsification, Springs said, “As a matter of routine, whenever the CPSC identifies a factually inaccurate report in a news organization, we contact the news organization to request correction.” That’s what happened in this situation,” he told Fox News Digital.

“I was happy to see accurate reports that the government is not trying to ban gas stoves, and has never actually banned them,” Kikukawa added.

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Meanwhile, Trumka’s comments sparked widespread outrage among consumer advocates, Republicans and some Democrats. Democratic Rep. Kelly Armstrong even introduced the Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act, which would prohibit federal funds from going to regulatory efforts to ban gas stoves.

Amid the outrage, Trumka retracted his comments opening the door to a ban, saying in a social media post that “CPSC is not coming after anyone’s gas stove.”

joe biden

The White House ultimately distanced itself from Trumka’s comments and condemned the ban on gas stoves. (Getty Images)

Additionally, CPSC Chairman Aleksander Horn-Sarich issued a statement clarifying that banning gas stoves is “not under consideration,” and the White House said President Biden does not support banning gas stoves. In March 2023, CPSC: Request information disclosure Ultimately, no regulatory action was taken regarding the health effects of gas stoves.

“A commissioner appointed by President Biden wanted to ban gas stoves, but was caught, sparking a public backlash,” said Peter McGinniss, a researcher and spokesperson for the FGI. “The CPSC staff then turned to Mr. Snopes to try to counter the commission’s process with conflicting opinions.

“And the White House thinks this is ‘useful.’ What good is it? This is beyond dysfunctional, a government using a sympathetic media outlet to censor unfavorable news,” McGinniss said. Ta. “Americans have the right to continue using their gas stoves, and they also have a right to know the truth about what regulations government officials are considering.”


Mr. Snopes did not respond to requests for comment.