New York City Is Banning Natural Gas Hookups To Fight Climate Change

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: The New York City Council on Wednesday voted to pass legislation banning the use of natural gas in most new construction, a move that will substantially slash climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions from the country's most populous city. The bill now goes to Mayor Bill de Blasio's desk for signature. Once signed, the measure will go into effect at the end of 2023 for some buildings under seven stories, and in 2027 for taller buildings. Hospitals, commercial kitchens and laundromats are exempt from the ban. Under the law, construction projects submitted for approval after 2027 must use sources like electricity for stoves, space heaters and water boilers instead of gas or oil. Residents who currently have gas stoves and heaters in their homes will not be impacted unless they relocate to a new building. New York state was the sixth largest natural gas consumer in the country in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. [...] Buildings in New York City account for about 70% of its greenhouse gases. Today's ban will likely push forward a New York state requirement to obtain 70% of its electricity from renewable sources like solar, wind and water power by 2030 and achieve a net-zero emissions electric sector by 2040. According to the think tank RMI, this bill will cut about 2.1 million tons of carbon emissions by 2040 -- equivalent to the annual emissions of 450,000 cars -- and save consumers several hundred million dollars in new gas connections. "The ban will also minimize the risk of gas explosions and reduce exposure to air pollution that poses health risks to residents, particularly low-income communities of color that are disproportionately exposed to pollution," reports CNBC.

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