California’s Fight Over the Kitchen Stove

April 8, 2019
Electric kitchen stove
Photo: Unsplash/Omar Rodriguez

As California looks for ways to phase out fossil fuels, gas-burning stoves and other home appliances have become the most recent target.

The Los Angeles Times reports that talk of transitioning to all-electric homes has stirred up a debate between the country’s biggest gas distribution utility, Southern California Gas Co., and its second-biggest electric utility, Southern California Edison. The electrification of homes poses a threat to SoCalGas, which has countered the proposal with its plan to use more “renewable gas” captured at dairies, landfills, sewage treatment plants, and other facilities.

For many clean energy advocates, the solution is obvious: Replace gas with electricity. They point out that the electricity supply is getting cleaner — California got more than half its power from climate-friendly sources such as solar and wind in 2017, and is aiming for 100% by 2045 — while gas continues to emit carbon dioxide when burned.

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