New York is the first state in the U.S. to pass a law that bans the use of natural gas for heating and cooking in some new buildings. This plan is meant to cut down on carbon emissions, but business groups oppose it as being too strict and expensive.
Both the Democratic-led Assembly and Senate passed the provisions late on Tuesday. They are part of the $229 billion budget for the state. Last week, Governor Kathy Hochul and the lawmakers decided on the main parts of the spending plan.
New York Speaker Carl Heastie said in a statement, “Changing how we make and use energy to use less fossil fuels will help us and our children live in a healthier environment.”
The move to New York comes at a time when there is a lot of debate in the US about the health and environmental effects of cooking equipment that uses fossil fuels and the role of natural gas in climate change in general.
The Tweet below confirms the news:
Dozens of towns across the United States have banned or discouraged the use of natural gas in new buildings or are thinking about doing so. This is to protect public health and the environment. Groups in the gas industry and the food and appliance business have fought back hard, saying that these worries are overblown.
Robert Ortt, a Republican from New York, said in a statement, “A first-in-the-nation, unconstitutional ban on natural gas hookups in new construction will drive up utility bills and raise the cost of housing.”
Starting in 2025, the rules say that new buildings can only be built with electric hookups for appliances and services. Starting in 2026, the rule will apply to buildings with less than seven stories. The New York Times says that the rules will start to apply to larger buildings in 2029.
Hospitals, places of vital infrastructure, and restaurants will not have to follow the rules.
The new rule won’t apply to buildings where the power grid in the area can’t handle the load. The law won’t change anything about buildings and items that are already there.
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