Why Berkeley Should Ban Natural Gas Hookups, Now

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Update: On July 16, 2019, Berkeley became the first California city to ban natural gas in new buildings.

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I’m a businessperson. I have a businesslike approach to life. I don’t generally believe government should be micromanaging our lives or limiting our choices.

But I strongly believe that this Tuesday, Berkeley should ban natural gas hookups in new construction (view proposal PDF).

There are few bright spots in a world that seems resigned to the fossil fuel status quo that’s destroying the planet in our lifetimes.

But some voices are getting heard through the noise – mostly young people like Greta Thunberg, who realize their future may already be lost, but aren’t yet ready to give up.

They’re pounding the table for dramatic, disruptive, proactive change… the kind we need to have any chance at reversing this tide.

Berkeley’s own carbon emissions are a drop in global bucket…. but our voice can be heard around the world.

Having the conviction to ban gas hookups in new construction will make global news, and make it easier for other cities to follow.  Someone has to fire the first shot.

There are no good business arguments not to do this. Any developer fighting it is just lazy or doesn’t understand the numbers – leaving gas behind will be cheaper, safer, and healthier for their tenants, and more profitable for them too.

Consumers won’t miss gas once they experience the many lifestyle and cost benefits of modern all-electric infrastructure like heat pumps (which also provide air conditioning) and induction ranges and cooktops (loved by professional chefs).

Let’s throw Berkeley’s weight behind this life-or-death movement now.

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The San Bruno Gas Fire, 2010

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