Federal court overturns city ban on natural gas

by Faith Duncan

A new California court decision might heat up the nationwide battle over gas stoves.

In 2019, Berkley banned natural gas in new buildings, becoming the first U.S. city to do so. The City Council said it was necessary to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

But the California Restaurant Association challenged the decision, saying it hurt their business. They also say it unlawfully restricted appliances approved by federal law. This week a federal appeals panel court agreed with the Restaurants and overturned the ban in a precedence-setting win.

Meanwhile, the Biden Energy Department proposed new restrictions that would eliminate around half of all available gas stove models. Even in Berkley, the gas stove battle is far from over. The city could request a new appeal with all 12 judges. Meanwhile, some California Republicans also introduced a bill to stop local governments and state agencies from banning natural gas.