California Cities Suspend Natural Gas Bans Following Court Ruling

After a fed­er­al court struck down the city of ’s ban on gas appli­ances in new build­ings, cities in the San Fran­cis­co Bay Area are sus­pend­ing active or pro­posed nat­ur­al gas bans. “A pan­el of judges ruled Berke­ley can­not pro­hib­it nat­ur­al gas due to a pre-exist­ing fed­er­al ener­gy law.”

As Stephanie Lam explains in the East Bay Times, juris­dic­tions that have tem­porar­i­ly sus­pend­ed their bans include Sun­ny­vale, Cuper­ti­no, and San Mateo Coun­ty, as well as San Luis Obis­po on the cen­tral coast.

While the rul­ing tech­ni­cal­ly does­n’t affect cities that took a “build­ing code-based approach,” such as Sun­ny­vale, some of those cities are vol­un­tar­i­ly sus­pend­ing their bans to avoid lit­i­ga­tion. “Sun­ny­vale city spokesper­son Jen­nifer Gar­nett said the city has oth­er mea­sures besides its sus­pend­ed gas ban to encour­age elec­tric , allow­ing res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial with all-elec­tric designs to increase their floor area ratio.”

Nat­ur­al gas has been shown to have a sig­nif­i­cant neg­a­tive impact on indoor air qual­i­ty, while envi­ron­men­tal­ists say all-elec­tric build­ings are key to help­ing the meet its -car­bon goal.

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