Arizona lawmakers are advancing a measure that would protect the natural-gas industry by preventing municipalities from banning gas hookups for new buildings, which has been done in some states to address climate change.
Diversifying our sources of energy provides a variety of benefits, such as greater reliability and lower carbon emissions. While a new mandate for residential solar panels in California represents a step towards diversification the regulations shift the financial burden onto the state’s poorest residents.
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors has voted unanimously to ban gas appliances in new and significantly renovated city buildings. It’s just the beginning, officials say: The board also passed a law to give incentives for all-electric construction, paving the way for a possible gas ban in all new buildings this year.
Before Culver City rushes headlong into following the City of Berkeley and eliminating natural gas hookups from residential buildings, it should carefully consider the consequences.
In particular, for a city so concerned with social justice and equity issues, the economic impact of mandated electrification on its most vulnerable community members could be severe.