The government is plotting to control electric stoves and other household appliances, according to talk radio host Mark Simone.
During a Tuesday appearance on Fox Business with Larry Kudlow, former economic adviser for ex-President Donald Trump, Simone expanded on this year’s Republican furor over alleged plans to ban gas stoves by claiming that the government wants consumers to switch to electric models so “eventually they can control that stove.”
Simone suggested government schemes that may on the surface appear designed to increase the efficiency of appliances, reduce emissions and water usage, and save consumers money are in fact part of a plan to “control” the populace.
The radio host floated the theory after Kudlow said that he wanted his “ceiling fan back” and suggested that “they’re gonna take my pool pump away.” The former Trump adviser argued that the government was using climate change as an excuse to impose “Soviet-style regulatory policies.”
Simone said that “they” were already “controlling the thermostats” in parts of California—possibly referring to voluntary programs offered by energy companies in the Golden State that offer consumers savings in exchange for handing over limited control of “smart” thermostats during peak times.
“This is really about control, that’s what it’s really about,” Simone said. “The reason they want you [to go] from a gas stove to electric stove is eventually they can control that stove. They’re already doing that in some towns in California, controlling the thermostats. They can turn it down when they want to.”
“The electric cars—they’ll be able to shut you down if they need to,” he continued. “Everything—the new washer, dryer. You know, the new toilet, instead of three gallons, one gallon. To save water. Now you’ve got to flush it 11 times.”
Kudlow responded to Simone by praising Trump for having “regulations to change all this stuff” during his time in the White House, while lamenting that “these dopey dopes are bringing it back” and “trying to run our lives.”
In a statement to Newsweek, Simone said that his complaint concerning restrictions on water usage was limited to “the new toilets.”
“When the govt switched toilets from 3 gallon tanks to 1 gallon tanks they claimed it was to save water,” Simone said. “But as everyone has seen, you have to flush the new ones multiple times.”
“I have heard from hundreds of people around the country, including many plumbers THANKING ME for pointing this out,” he added.
In 1992, then-President George H.W. Bush signed a bill that mandated new toilets manufactured in the U.S. use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush. The law has been in effect since 1994.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s voluntary WaterSense program promotes models that use 1.28 gallons or less per flush, which the agency says are able to provide “equal or superior performance” due to “recent advancements.”
While there are also government programs designed to improve the energy efficiency of appliances, the federal government has no plans to confiscate models that do not meet the new standards or to control which appliances consumers choose.
Regardless, Republican politicians have been hammering the issue since an official with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission suggested that a ban on new gas stoves was “on the table” this year. The official later said that no ban was actually planned.
During a campaign stop in New Hampshire last month, Trump told his supporters that “they want to take away your gas stoves” and “your washing machines and your dryers.”
Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn claimed in a tweet on Monday that President Joe Biden has plans to confiscate “your water heater” as part of a “socialist agenda.”
“First, the Left comes for gas stoves and washing machines,” Blackburn tweeted. “Now, the Biden administration wants to take away your water heater. What else will they take in the name of their socialist agenda?”
Update 07/25/23, 9:09 p.m. ET: This article has been updated to include a statement from Simone and additional information concerning water usage in toilets.