"In the Fight Over Gas Stoves, Meet the Industry’s Go-To Scientist"

"Longstanding research shows the health dangers of gas-burning ranges. Utilities are turning to Julie Goodman, a toxicologist with a firm whose work raises questions about the science."

"When Multnomah County in Oregon convened a recent public hearing on the health hazards posed by pollution from gas stoves, a toxicologist named Julie Goodman was the first to testify.

Studies linking gas stoves to childhood asthma, which have prompted talk of gas-stove bans in recent weeks and months, were “missing important context,” she said. Levels of pollutants in the kitchen, particularly a well-ventilated one, were negligible, Dr. Goodman told people at the November meeting. In fact, she said, the simple act of cooking itself, “baking, frying and sautéing,” also released emissions that had nothing to do with gas.

What Dr. Goodman didn’t tell the crowd was that she was paid to testify by a local gas provider. Dr. Goodman is a toxicologist who works for Gradient, a consulting firm that provides environmental reviews for corporations. She appeared at the county hearing on behalf of NW Natural, the local utility that is heavily reliant on gas, an affiliation she didn’t state during her testimony.

In recent months, Dr. Goodman has also worked with the American Gas Association, the industry’s main lobby group, to help it counter health concerns linked to gas."

Hiroko Tabuchi reports for the New York Times January 29, 2023.


Source: NYTimes, 01/30/2023