San Gabriel Valley Restaurant Community Gets Fired Up About California Energy Policy

Leaders of Californians for Balanced Energy Solutions were joined by members of the Asian-Pacific Islander community and San Gabriel Valley restaurant owners at a press conference last Wednesday in Arcadia. 

The event focused on protecting the use of natural and renewable gas in homes and businesses and discussing the versatility of natural gas for economic growth and sustainability.  Speakers expressed the need to maintain energy choice and keep energy costs down, highlighting the major disruption that a natural gas ban would have on the livelihood of restaurant workers and owners.  The press conference culminated in attendees calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to halt statewide efforts to eliminate the use of clean, affordable natural gas in homes and businesses.

“Chinese cuisines abound in a full range of colors, flavors and tastes. Natural gas cannot be entirely replaced by electricity, especially when it comes to stir-fry dishes,” said Leo Wang of the Chinese American Catering Association. “This regulation will make it even more difficult for Chinese restaurants to survive in the United States.”

Other speakers included Brad Jensen and Annie Wei of the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership, Charles Lu of Shanghai Lander Palace, and Duarte City Councilman Samuel Kang.  As a former restaurant owner, Kang said he knows all too well the pressures that restaurants face and how thin the profit margins are.  If electricity is mandated by the state, he predicted that costs will increase astronomically.  “Electricity bills will go up three to five times more,” Kang said.  “How will restaurants be able to make a living?”

Also joining Kang were his mother, Lily Kang, the host of a food cooking program on KMRB AM 1430 who said she might eat only porridge in the future if electricity is required for everything, as well as C4BES Executive Director Jon Switalski.

“We are here to tell our state leaders they are going down the wrong path.  Gov. Newsom and the unelected regulators need to hear that we are opposed to banning natural and renewable natural gas in restaurants,” Switalski said.  “Without a doubt this is going to hurt businesses and our communities.  The Governor should bring some common sense to California’s energy policy.”

You can make your voice heard by signing our open letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom calling for a balanced energy policy.