U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) tweeted Tuesday night an image of her setting fire to a Republican energy bill that would have protected Americans’ right to use natural gas stoves.
“No one is coming for your gas stove!” Pingree tweeted. “Can we please focus on the real issues facing this country?”
Rep. Pingree’s tweet racked up hundreds of “likes,” but she probably should have had a conversation with her daughter before blasting this one off.
Because her daughter is, in fact, coming for your gas stoves.
Hannah Pingree, a former Maine state lawmaker who was appointed to lead Gov. Janet Mills’ Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, is an avowed opponent of natural gas stoves.
Indeed, last year the younger Pingree tweeted in support of a Portland Press Herald editorial calling for an end to gas stoves.
(Coincidentally, the Portland Press Herald used to be owned by billionaire mega donor S. Donald Sussman, Rep. Pingree’s ex-husband. He reportedly sold his controlling interest in the paper after the couple split, though Pingree has continued to report significant income from Sussman’s hedge fund, Paloma Partners.)
Although the editorial Pingree tweeted out stopped just short of calling for a prohibition of the use of natural gas, Pingree has, as part of Mills’ policy team, advanced policies hostile to energy policies that don’t boost wind and solar power.
The Mills Administration’s hostility to natural gas is so severe that they’ve even drawn criticism from top Maine Democrats.
Last month, Democratic Sen. Joe Baldacci (D-Penobscot) ripped Mills for going back on the campaign pledge she signed with the Maine Energy Marketers Association, a trade association that represents Maine’s oil and natural gas dealers.
By signing that pledge, Mills was saying that she would oppose any attempts to restrict the energy sources Mainers can choose from when buying or building a home.
However, Mills has apparently changed her mind on the benefits of an “all of the above” energy market in Maine, because her staff testified against LD 894, a bill that would have blocked municipal governments from imposing local bans on oil and natural gas.
By blocking LD 894, Mills is sending a signal to Maine’s more liberal municipal governments that the door is open to banning hydrocarbon-based energy, including the natural gas that fuels stoves, regardless of what the elder Pingree tweets.
Although Democratic politicians and liberal talking heads have cast the effort to ban gas stoves as a conservative conspiracy theory, the federal U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has said that banning gas stoves is “on the table.”