New York Passes Law Banning Natural Gas Hookups In New Buildings

New York Governor Kathy Hochul

By John Hugh DeMastri

The New York State Assembly became the first state legislature in the nation to pass a statewide ban on new natural gas hookups late Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

The $229 billion state budget package will require almost all new buildings shorter than seven stories to go all-electric for cooking and heating by 2026 — with exceptions for manufacturers, restaurants, renovations and hospitals — while taller buildings would have until 2029, according to The Washington Post. While supporters argued that the law was necessary for the state to hit its climate goals, critics argued that it would raise expenses for homeowners in the state, where electricity tends to be more expensive than gas.  (RELATED: Forget Stoves! There’s A Growing Movement To Ban New Homes From Having Any Gas At All)

“The state budget crafted by Albany Democrats ignores the priorities of New York residents,” said the state Senate’s Republican Minority Leader Robert Ortt in a statement. “A first-in-the-nation, unconstitutional ban on natural gas hookups in new construction will drive up utility bills and increase housing costs.”

While the law is widely expected to face legal challenges from the oil and gas industry, climate activists have expressed hope that it would inspire similar action in other states, according to the Post. In April, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously struck down a similar gas ban from the city of Berkeley, California, which was the first city in the nation to introduce such a ban.

“I want to be very clear. I know people love to misinterpret this, but people with existing gas stoves, you’re welcome to keep them,” Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul said ahead of the vote Tuesday, according to The Associated Press. “This is where our nation has to go eventually. But I want to make sure that it’s not a bumpy road to the transition.”

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently opened a request for information, inviting the public to comment on the harmful affects caused by gas stoves, which could be the basis of future national regulations.  Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Republican Rep. James Comer of Kentucky on Monday deepened their probe of several environmental groups, who they believe may have shaped the CPSC’s stance on gas stoves.

Hochul’s office did not immediately respond to a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.

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