The CEO and co-founder of a dark money clean energy advocacy group pushing restrictions on gas stove use nationwide is scheduled to speak at the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference on Thursday.
Ari Matusiak, who helped found the Rewiring America in 2020, is scheduled to speak Thursday morning during a roundtable discussion at the conference with Reps. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Kathy Castor, D-Fla., Environmental Protection Agency official Jahi Wise and League of Conservation Voters senior vice president Tiernan Sittenfeld.
The session will focus on “how to maximize historic climate investments” included in the Inflation Reduction Act, the $739 billion climate and tax legislation Democrats passed last year.
Rewiring America was founded to “to help mobilize America to address climate change and jump-start the economy by electrifying everything,” Matusiak’s fellow co-founder Saul Griffith wrote in a September 2020 blog post. The group argues in favor of electrifying homes and has pushed electric stoves as a replacement of gas stove alternatives.
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The group was at the center of a recent move to restrict gas stove usage. Rewiring America research associate Talor Gruenwald was listed as the lead author on a study published in December linking childhood asthma to gas stoves. The study was promoted by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and used to justify greater restrictions on the appliance.
“Neither induction nor electric resistance stoves burn fossil fuels,” Rewiring America states on its website. “They also don’t require gas hookups, which often leak methane — a potent greenhouse gas. In fact, recent studies have shown that methane leaking from gas-burning stoves installed in U.S. homes, even when they are turned off, has the same negative impact on the environment as the carbon dioxide emitted from around 500,000 gasoline-powered vehicles.”
“Induction and electric stoves provide substantial health benefits over gas stoves,” it adds, noting the December study’s findings on childhood health outcomes. “Gas stoves burn fossil fuels in an enclosed space, releasing carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and other pollutants and carcinogens directly into our homes.”
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And, in addition to loudly supporting the Inflation Reduction Act, Rewiring America has spearheaded a “consumer outreach and education campaign” to inform Americans about the electrification provisions in the bill. Vice President Kamala Harris boosted the campaign in November.
“More companies and national partners are expected to join the campaign in the coming months – alerting U.S. households to benefits to help them purchase and install efficient electric heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, induction stoves, heat pump dryers and other home appliances needed to lower their energy costs and the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving the climate crisis,” the group said on Nov. 2.
Matusiak and another Rewiring America co-founder Alex Laskey attended a White House event on Sept. 13 celebrating the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.
Laskey also spoke at a Dec. 14 electrification summit hosted by the White House and attended by top administration officials.
“Just to talk quickly about the benefits of electrification – from our count, 42% of all emissions come from decisions that are made at kitchen tables. That is the cars we drive as well as how we heat our homes, heat the water in our homes, cook our food and dry our clothing,” Laskey remarked during the event.
Rewiring America, though, isn’t an independent organization, but is a project of the Windward Fund, a nonprofit that is part of the billion-dollar dark money network managed by the Washington, D.C.-based Arabella Advisors. The group’s structure allows its funding to be almost completely hidden from public view, meaning its donors remain unknown.