Click here to read the full article.
New York has become the first state in the country to ban natural gas stoves after the state Legislature approved a new state budget that includes a prohibition on fossil fuel combustion in most new buildings starting in 2026.
The final vote followed weeks of what Gov. Kathy Hochul called “very intense” negotiations that led to the May 2 passage of the $229 billion state budget, which includes a ban on gas stoves, furnaces, and propane heating in favor of appliances such as heat pumps and electric stoves.
Republican leaders in the state Senate criticized the measure, saying it would drive up utility bills and housing costs.
Hochul said in an appearance on FOX 5’s “Good Day New York” on May 2 that the passage of the budget caps—a weeks-long process of closed-door talks—involved “a lot of give and take, a lot of strong feelings, a lot of emotion” around topics that included the natural gas ban.
The measure prohibits the installation of fossil fuel equipment in new buildings under seven stories by 2026 and by 2029 in taller ones, effectively requiring all-electric heating and cooking.
There are exemptions for places such as hospitals, manufacturing facilities, and restaurants. Existing buildings are also exempt from the ban.
“Everybody who has a gas stove—enjoy it. Keep your gas stove,” Hochul said. “But new buildings that are going up, they can go electric, they can do heat pumps.”
The provisions of the new budget deal will help meet the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), state Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie said in a statement.
The spending plan will establish a “climate action fund” that will gather revenues generated from CLCPA regulations and channel that to various projects related to climate change.
The new budget also authorizes the New York Power Authority to build renewable energy projects and creates the Renewable Energy Access and Community Help (REACH) program that will subsidize electric power and energy for lower-income residents.
“Changing the ways we make and use energy to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels will help ensure a healthier environment for us and our children,” Heastie said in a statement.
Around 3 in 5 households in New York state rely on natural gas for heating, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Critics of the law have argued that it restricts consumer choice and will send utility bills higher, since electricity is more expensive than natural gas in much of New York.
‘More Big Government Mandates’
Senate Republican leader Rob Ortt criticized the budget, saying in a statement that it ignores the priorities of New York residents.
“The least transparent budget in recent memory failed to address the affordability crisis, does nothing to improve public safety, and imposes more big government mandates that threaten our economy,” he said.
Addressing the fossil fuel equipment ban, Ortt said it would make housing more expensive.
“A first-in-the-nation, unconstitutional ban on natural gas hookups in new construction will drive up utility bills and increase housing costs,” he said.
New York City approved its own ban on fossil fuels in new buildings last year, seeking to eliminate natural gas hookups along a faster timeline than the newly passed budget deal. Specifically, the city’s gas stove ban will take effect in 2024 for buildings under seven stories.
A study from RMI found that the combined all-electric building laws in New York City and the state would jointly prevent carbon dioxide emissions by 2040, equivalent to around 1.3 million cars.
Climate lobbyists pushed for the New York state gas stove ban to go into effect in 2025, with the current deal amounting to a compromise that moves it back a year.
Lee Zeldin, a former Republican congressman from Long Island and a former candidate for governor, criticized the Hochul administration’s priorities concerning the gas stove ban.
“New Yorkers are struggling to heat their homes and put gas in their cars,” he wrote on Twitter. “Instead of approving new pipeline applications and reversing the state’s ban on the safe extraction of natural gas, Kathy Hochul and her allies are tripling down on kicking this state off the cliff.”
The new budget deal includes several measures to improve public safety, such as providing judges greater discretion to set bail for serious crimes.
Ortt said in his statement that these measures are largely toothless.
“The language changes to cashless bail laws are less than meaningless and will do nothing to curtail rising crime,” he said.
“The end result of this disastrous budget deal will be more crime, fewer jobs, and continued out-migration to more affordable states.”
The new budget provides funding for a broad range of areas, including schools, child care, minimum wage, and tenant support, according to Hochul’s office.
It also focuses on fighting climate change and expands the marketplace for legal marijuana.
Continue reading here.
Scroll down for comments and share your thoughts!
GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings