New York Focus, November 18, 2021
The fight heated up at a hearing Wednesday, with debate centered on when, not if, a gas ban should go into effect.
It wouldn’t be the first, but it would be by far the biggest.
Yesterday afternoon, the New York City Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection held a marathon hearing on a bill to ban fossil fuels, including natural gas, in new buildings—which could amount to the city’s most significant climate legislation since its 2019 buildings emissions law.
If the bill passes, New York would join more than 50 other cities nationally that have banned gas in new construction, the largest of which is San Jose, California (population 1 million). But as the largest city in the country and an international real-estate hub, New York’s move could spur a wider shift, proponents say, starting with a proposed statewide ban the state legislature will consider next year—making the potential gas ban one of the highest-stakes local climate fights of the year.