Share
News

Federal Appeals Court Deals Crushing Blow to Natural Gas Ban

Share

A federal appeals court on Monday overturned Berkeley, California’s, first-in-the-nation ban on natural gas in new construction, agreeing with restaurant owners who argued the city bypassed federal energy regulations when it approved the ordinance.

The measure, which took effect in 2020, was intended to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses that contribute to global warming. With some exceptions, it banned new residential and commercial buildings from installing natural gas piping in favor of electrical lines.

A lawsuit by the California Restaurant Association claimed the regulation violated federal law that gives the U.S. government authority to set energy-efficiency standards for appliances such as stoves, furnaces and water heaters.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected a lower court judge’s decision two years ago that had upheld the Berkeley ordinance. In her 2021 decision, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said the city was not trying to regulate energy efficiency for appliances, only the fuel they used.

But Judge Patrick Bumatay wrote in the 3-0 Ninth Circuit ruling that a local ordinance that bans appliances such as gas stoves “impacts the quantity of energy” they consume, which is regulated by the federal government.

Trending:
Gen. Flynn Warning: Before Nov., Dems Can Stick Us with Unelected POTUS/VP - Technically Legal, Extremely Troubling

Jot Condie, president of the restaurant association, hailed the decision. Berkeley’s ban was “an overreaching measure beyond the scope of any city,” he said in a statement.

“Cities and states are not equipped to regulate the energy use or energy efficiency of appliances that businesses and homeowners have chosen; energy policy and conservation is an issue with national scope and national security implications,” Condie said.

The ruling was expected to be appealed, according to a statement from a group of environmental advocates.

Matt Vespa, a senior attorney with the nonprofit Earthjustice, called the decision misguided.

Do you use a gas stove?

“As we face a climate and air quality crisis from coast to coast, it is vital that cities and states maintain all legal pathways to protect public health, cut climate emissions, and increase safety by addressing pollution from buildings, and we’ll continue to fight to ensure this authority is preserved,” Vespa said in a statement.

Research has found that gas stoves in California are leaking cancer-causing benzene, while another study determined that U.S. gas stoves are contributing to global warming by putting 2.6 million tons of methane in the air each year even when turned off.

New York City has barred most new buildings from using natural gas within a few years. Most construction projects submitted for approval after 2027 would have to use something other than gas or oil — such as electricity — for heating, hot water and cooking.

Some federal lawmakers have called on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to address the potential health risks through regulation, such as requiring that gas stoves be sold with range hoods to improve ventilation or issuing mandatory performance standards for gas stoves to address the health effects of hazardous emissions.

But the Biden administration said earlier this year that there are no plans for a nationwide ban on gas stoves.

Related:
Three Men Dead After Swimming Under Red Flag Warning at US Beach

The California Restaurant Association argued the Berkeley ban could end up eroding the region’s reputation for fine and creative dining.

“Indeed, restaurants specializing in international foods so prized in the Bay Area will be unable to prepare many of their specialties without natural gas,” the lawsuit stated.

And while the ban applied only to some new construction, the association worried it could be the start of efforts to outlaw or restrict the use of natural gas in existing structures.

The trade group said such a move would harm restaurants that rely on gas “for cooking particular types of food, whether it be flame-seared meats, charred vegetables, or the use of intense heat from a flame under a wok,” according to the lawsuit.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , , ,
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation