Republicans Proven Right Again As New York State Becomes First State to Ban Natural Gas in New Construction 



Disclaimer:  This article may contain the personal views and opinions of the author.

In January of this year, Republicans were mocked over claims that Democrats were coming for gas stoves. 

Newsweek reported that Republicans were outraged after Richard Trumka Jr., a commissioner with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) appointed by President Biden, divulged in an interview that a ban on gas stoves was being considered because of the “health hazard” the appliances pose. 

CPSC Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric later tried to clean up the mess and stated that the agency is “not looking to ban gas stoves.” 

Fast forward a few months to learn that gas stoves are, indeed, on the chopping block. 

The Washington Post reports that New York State “has become the first state in the nation to pass a law banning natural gas and other fossil fuels in most new buildings, a move that could help reshape how Americans heat and cook in their homes in the coming decades.”

Late Tuesday, the New York legislature approved a $229 billion state budget that will prohibit natural gas hookups and other fossil fuels in most new homes and other construction, a major victory for climate activists. 

The move, which will likely face a court challenge from the fossil fuel industry, will serve as a test of states’ power to ban fossil fuels outright, rather than simply encouraging developers to build low-carbon buildings.

The law effectively requires all-electric heating and cooking in new buildings shorter than seven stories by 2026, and in 2029 for taller buildings. 

And although it allows exemptions for manufacturing facilities, restaurants, hospitals, and even carwashes, the measure does not do what some climate activists had feared: give cities and counties license to override the ban.

New York State is following the lead of various cities and counties across the country which have already issued bans on gas hookups in new construction.

The climate activists adopt this type of ban hoping to cut emissions including carbon pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

“I hear from local government and state folks frequently that they’re thinking of this sort of policy, and so I’m certain, as other policymakers look to a state that’s found a politically and technically feasible way to go about electrification, that others will be paying attention,” said Amy Turner, a senior fellow at Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.

New York’s new law “is an indication that this policy is definitely building momentum and becoming more mainstream, in particular within the Democratic Party,” said Abe Scarr, director of the Illinois Public Interest Research Group, a consumer group working for a similar ban in Illinois.

“Part of the case we’ll be making is if we want to show off Chicago and how it’s a leader in many policy areas, but including climate and affordable utilities, this would be an important step for the [mayor-elect Brandon] Johnson administration to take,” Scarr said.

The Democrat National Convention will be held in Chicago leading up to the next presidential election and advocates for a ban on natural gas are hopeful that the city council will pass a new ordinance before welcoming the DNC next year.

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