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The city of San Jose, CA will become the largest city in the United States to ban natural gas from all new construction. The San Jose City Council is expected to approve a proposal that forbids natural gas use in new commercial and high-rise residential buildings, expanding an earlier law that banned natural gas in new single-family homes and low-rise multifamily buildings.
San Jose joins numerous other cities that have made similar mandates.
In July 2019, Berkeley became the first city in the United States to ban natural gas, and last month.
Go Deeper: The natural gas industry and gas utilities have been fighting hard against these bans, going as far as saying that they’re causing racial injustice (they’re not).
San Jose’s Ambitious Climate Goals: In 2018, San Jose planned to become one of the first cities in the United States to lessen emissions to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement. Since then, San Jose started a community choice energy program that aspires to generate enough solar power to run 250,000 homes by 2040. The city also plans to guarantee that the energy used by commercial and residential buildings equals the amount of renewable energy generated on-site.
There are a few exceptions to this ordinance — hospitals, new dwelling units attached to an existing home, and facilities with a distributed energy source would be allowed to operate with natural gas.
That said, Olivia Walker, a research associate at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told the San Jose Mercury News:
“San Jose is really making history, and I do hope that local governments across the state and country see this as a model for the kind of ambitious policies we need in our cities to truly combat climate change.”
Kicking the Gas Habit: As The Atlantic recently reported, “most Americans these days use electric stoves, but approximately a third cook primarily with natural gas, according to a 2015 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Many of these cooks swear by the blue flame, which can supercharge a cast-iron pan in a way that would put an electric coil to shame.
Cooking over a fire may seem natural enough, but these stoves should be a hotter topic: Given advances in induction technology, concerns about the climate, health anxieties, or some combination of the three, should anyone be using one?
If you can afford to avoid it, probably not.”
It’s for this reason that chefs have started demonstrating the desirable cooking attributes of induction stoves to break the stigma that only gas is adequate for serious chefs.
Scaling production of EVs in the U.S. will require a ramp-up in domestic battery production. Now there’s good news on that front. A battery factory in Georgia can move forward after LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation (South Korean companies), two of the world’s biggest electric vehicle battery manufacturers, settled a dispute.
Why This Matters: The dispute threatened U.S. production of EVs. SK has contracts to produce batteries for electric Ford F-150 pickup trucks and Volkswagen SUVs.
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Right now, 95% of American public school buses run on diesel fuel, but that could soon change thanks to part of the Biden administration’s massive infrastructure proposal. The new Clean Buses for Kids Program would electrify at least 20% of the country’s iconic yellow school bus fleet. It would […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer In February, the governors of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware voted unanimously to ban fracking in the Delaware River Basin, but Republican-led lawsuits are seeking to stop this action. The ban prevented the natural gas industry from blasting up to 4,000 wells in the basin, serving a blow to the […]
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