(USNewsMag.com) – Politicians in New York, California and Minnesota have proposed legislation that would ban natural gas hookups in new construction.
The proposal in Minnesota specifically states that the legislation is intended to “mitigate the impact of climate change,” despite concerns that disallowing natural gas use would increase costs.
According to the United States Energy Information Administration, approximately half of the homes in the U.S. use natural gas for heating. Natural gas has long been a popular choice for space heating because it is generally cheaper and more efficient than all-electric systems. It is especially popular in the northern states due to the risk of power outages during extreme winter weather conditions.
According to one of the senior fellows at the Institute of Energy Research, natural gas is not only extremely abundant in North America, but also the cleanest fossil fuel. Speaking to the Daily Caller News Foundation, Dan Kish, said that natural gas has been responsible for reducing carbon emissions in the United States, a reduction that has been widely successful with a greater impact than any other country. According to Kish, the United States has huge natural gas reserves that would last centuries.
California’s proposed legislation would ban gas-powered water heaters and furnaces effective in 2030. New York’s Governor, Kathy Hochul has proposed a statewide ban that would not only prevent new construction from containing natural gas hookups but would stop gas sales to all residential buildings by 2030 and all commercial buildings by 2035. According to a fact sheet released by the Consumer Energy Alliance in 2020, three-fifths of New York’s households use natural gas for heating. Their estimates indicate that to convert to electric from natural gas, the average New York City household could face a cost of over $25,000.
Ithaca New York is in the process of converting all 6,000 of the buildings in the city to electric energy to move away from fossil fuels completely. New York has partnered with renewable energy companies to offer incentives and free assessments for those who qualify.
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