On Wednesday, the Department of Energy brought the gas stove debate back to the fore by proposing new efficiency standards for consumer kitchen appliances.

The proposal comes just weeks after a consumer safety official at another agency drew backlash from Republicans, as well as some Democrats, after raising the possibility of banning new gas stoves.

The Department of Energy’s proposed standards focus on energy consumption and would require both gas and electric stoves to meet certain efficiency thresholds. He proposal it also suggests new standards for gas and electric ovens.

The department said it had «tentatively concluded» that the proposed standards represented significant gains and were «technologically feasible and economically justified, and would result in significant energy conservation.»

He also said the proposed changes would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions linked to kitchen appliances.

The standards would be a change from existing rules, which prohibit constantly burning pilot lights on gas stoves, but place no limits on energy use.

The proposal comes weeks after Richard Trumka Jr., a member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, drew the ire of Republican lawmakers when he suggested during an interview with Bloomberg News that gas stoves, which he says pose a «hidden danger» in American homes, could be banned. A commission spokesman later clarified that there was no official proposal on the matter.

Republican lawmakers quickly seized on comments by Trumka, a Biden candidate, and argued that the Biden administration and government bureaucrats were coming for the stoves of the Americans. Responding to the uproar, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden does not support a ban on gas stoves.

The Department of Energy said the proposed conservation standards overall would save a «significant amount» of energy, likely resulting in estimated national savings that are «the equivalent of the electricity use of 19 million residential homes in one year.»

If adopted, the rules would apply to products manufactured in or imported into the United States three years after the publication of any new rule.