Court Ruling Overturns Berkeley’s First-Ever Natural Gas Ban in the Nation
Berkeley’s First-in-Nation Natural Gas Ban Overthrown by Court Ruling
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Berkeley’s ban on natural gas hookups in new buildings is preempted by the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). The court decision means that Berkeley cannot mandate electric hookups in new development. The ruling was pursued by the California Restaurant Association and has set back the first citywide ordinance mandating all-electric power in the United States. Other cities, such as San Francisco and Seattle, have also approved their own versions of gas bans. The court ruled that EPCA’s preemption provision encompasses building codes that regulate natural gas use by covered products.
According to a ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Berkeley cannot require electric hookups in new developments due to a federal rule that preempts local regulations.
The court ruling overturned a Berkeley city ordinance that prohibited natural gas hookups in new buildings, which was seen as a significant legal setback for the first citywide ordinance mandating all-electric power in the United States.
The lawsuit was pursued by the California Restaurant Association, with Maya Earls and Samantha Hawkins reporting on the court ruling for Bloomberg Law. The ruling was based on the issue of preemption, with the court deciding that the city ordinance was preempted by the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA).
“Berkeley can’t bypass preemption by banning natural gas piping within buildings rather than banning natural gas products themselves,” wrote the panel in the ruling.
Judge Patrick J. Bumatay wrote for the panel, “By its plain text and structure, EPCA’s preemption provision encompasses building codes that regulate natural gas use by covered products. And by preventing such appliances from using natural gas, the new Berkeley building code does exactly that.”
Berkeley approved its natural gas ban in 2019, with San Francisco, Seattle, and other cities approving their versions of gas bans afterward. The debate over natural gas hookups became a cultural issue earlier this year when a commissioner for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission suggested the agency could ban gas stoves, similar to what Berkeley did at the local level.
1- melk360.com ,Berkeley’s First-in-Nation Natural Gas Ban Overthrown by Court Ruling ,2023-04-18 18:00:00