Climate activists want to get rid of gas stoves, whether you like it or not


Today the Washington Post published a story about the battle over the use of natural gas in homes and kitchens. This is ultimately a battle between consumers, many of whom like their gas stoves, and activists who want to see gas removed from home heating and cooking in favor of electric appliances. Naturally, this is a fight that began in Berkeley, California.

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The issue started heating up in July 2019, when Berkeley, Calif., became the first city in the nation to ban natural gas hookups in new construction or substantially renovated structures…

Since then, municipalities across the country have followed suit. In California alone, 42 municipalities, including San Francisco, changed their building codes to make natural gas use impossible or difficult. Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency endorsed a plan that calls for newly built homes and buildings to be mostly electrified by 2027. In Colorado, Boulder changed its building code and imposed a maximum energy use per square foot on new residential construction of 3,000 square feet or larger, effectively leaving little room for gas.

The state of Washington also is at the forefront of this campaign. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) has backed a bill that would phase out the gas utility service and give local governments the authority to set more stringent energy standards than the state code. On Feb. 1, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to restrict natural gas use in new commercial buildings and multifamily homes higher than three stories.

But this hasn’t been a one-sided fight. In November 2019 the California Restaurant Association sued Berkeley over the ban on natural gas. Arguments in that case took place earlier this month, with the CRA’s attorney arguing the ban was a violation of federal law and Berkeley’s City Attorney arguing it wasn’t. The fight over gas cooking is also being waged in San Francisco: