Federal Court Overrules California Cities’ Natural Gas Ban

The flame burns in a natural gas-fired stove.

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A federal appeals court on Monday ruled that Berkeley, Calif., cannot ban natural gas connections in new buildings, saying U.S. federal law preempts city regulations.

The San Francisco Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision was a response to a 2019 lawsuit filed by the California Restaurant Association against the city of Berkeley. On appeal, a panel of three judges said the US Energy Policy Conservation Act of 1975 preempted a city ban on installing natural gas piping in new buildings.

“By completely banning the installation of natural gas piping in newly constructed buildings, the City of Berkeley has stepped into territory preempted by Congress,” Trump-appointed Judge Patrick Bumathey said. will be,” he said. Written for the panel.

The decision could impact efforts by other California cities and counties to ban natural gas appliances in new buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from climate change. Dozens of cities across the country, including San Francisco, New York City, San Jose in Seattle and Cambridge, Massachusetts, are also moving to ban natural gas connections in some new buildings for environmental and health reasons.

All three judges on the panel were appointed from the Republican Party. The ruling overturned his 2021 ruling by a U.S. District Court judge that blocked a challenge to the city’s ban.

Commercial and residential buildings are approx. 13% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissionsMainly due to the use of gas appliances.Also, some researchers found that children in homes with gas stoves Increased risk of asthma and other health problems.

However, states such as Texas and Arizona prohibit cities from banning natural gas, arguing that consumers should have the right to choose their energy source.

Jot Condie, president and chief executive of the California Restaurant Association, said in a statement that the city’s ordinances were excessive measures beyond the confines of any city, limiting the types of food restaurants could serve. He said he would.

“Natural gas appliances are essential for restaurants to operate effectively and efficiently,” says Condi. “Cities and states cannot bypass federal law to limit consumer choice, and it is encouraging that the Ninth Circuit has upheld this standard.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2023/04/18/federal-court-strikes-down-a-california-citys-natural-gas-ban.html Federal Court Overrules California Cities’ Natural Gas Ban

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