"The natural gas industry was losing in cities across the US. Then came an obscure partisan tactic called preemption."
"When Regina Romero took office as the Democratic mayor of Tucson, Arizona, in 2019, she wanted her city to take action on climate change. Local building codes might have been a logical place to start: In the US, some 70 million buildings rely on fossil fuels that warm the planet, such as oil and gas, for heating and cooking. They generate a hefty 13 percent of national greenhouse gas emissions.
While many answers to climate change require national and even international action, cities often have the unilateral power to craft local rules like building codes. But before the city of Tucson could even look at possible building reforms, the Republican-led state legislature took away its power to do so — by passing a state law that natural gas utilities are “not subject to further regulation by a municipality.”
Supporters of the Republican bill were trying to beat climate advocates to the punch and “preempt” restrictions on fossil fuels. “We wanted to get ahead of what we viewed as an economically damaging trend, and stop it before it could gain a foothold here,” says Garrick Taylor, a spokesperson for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, one of the lobbying groups that supported the bill."