The environmental radicals appear not to be satisfied with only taking gas stoves away from Americans. The use of natural gas in homes is facing a threat as a growing number of states and cities consider or implement bans on new gas hookups. The move, which could raise consumer costs, has drawn criticism from natural gas advocates who say it would have negative environmental consequences.
State lawmakers in Minnesota have introduced legislation allowing the state’s Commissioner of Labor and Industry to update the state’s energy code to reduce the impact of climate change, which could be used as a justification for a natural gas ban.
According to Dan Kish, senior fellow at the Institute for Energy Research, California and New York are also considering statewide natural gas bans, which may not have the climate benefits that advocates hope for, even as costs will skyrocket.
Another crucial energy bill is already making its way through the Minnesota House.
HF 772 gives bureaucrats the power to effectively ban natural gas in new and existing homes via changes to the building code, which is very bad news for our electric grid.https://t.co/UR6GTACQHG
— Center of the American Experiment (@MNThinkTank) February 9, 2023
Half of all homes in the US use natural gas for space and water heating, accounting for about 15% of all natural gas consumption in the country, according to the US Energy Information Administration. In addition, space heating with natural gas is cheaper than all-electric systems because it is more energy efficient.
The issue of natural gas bans gained national attention after news broke that the Consumer Product Safety Commission was considering a nationwide ban on gas stoves due to concerns over the pollutants produced by the stoves. However, the study on which these concerns are based was partly funded by activist groups advocating for appliance electrification.
Last week, the city of Eugene, Oregon, became the first municipality in the state to ban new natural gas hookups. The city council listed reduction of the city’s carbon footprint and health hazards as support for the new ban. The restriction applies to all new residential buildings three stories tall or less.
In May 2022, legislation in New York enabled regulators to update the state energy code to promote clean energy and efficiency standards for appliances. This legislation was used to justify the state’s Climate Action Council’s December proposal to effectively change the New York energy code to ban gas hookups in new buildings.
Meanwhile, California state lawmakers are considering a statewide ban on gas-powered furnaces and water heaters no later than 2030.
In addition, New York Governor Kathy Hochul has called for her state to become the first in the nation to enact a statewide ban on natural gas hookups, with new residential and commercial buildings to be all-electric by 2025 and 2030, respectively.
A group of 20 states, primarily GOP-led, have enacted laws that ban cities from implementing restrictions on natural gas. In addition, four states have introduced such bills that have not yet been enacted.
Joe Biden’s Department of Energy has proposed a rule to set more restrictive energy efficiency standards for newly manufactured gas stoves.
The Biden administration has hosted the White House Electrification Summit, where it announced a Home Electrification Prize through the Department of Energy to fund “innovative solutions” to retrofit homes with electrical heating. However, the White House denies that the administration is planning to ban gas stoves.