New York's Gas Stove Ban an 'Existential Threat,' Trade Group Lawsuit Says

"Gas and construction groups say the ban endangers their livelihoods and violates federal energy regulations."

"Construction and gas trade groups have filed a lawsuit to block a law passed by New York officials that would ban furnaces and gas stoves in newly constructed buildings.

The lawsuit was filed last Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York by several groups, including the National Association of Home Builders. In the filing, the plaintiffs argue that a law passed in New York State this year violates federal rules on how gas appliances are regulated. They claim that New York officials do not have the ability to enforce a ban due to a federal law called the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which already regulates energy policies.

The gas ban passed this May when New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed the All Electric Buildings Act. This made New York the first state to ban gas hook-ups in new buildings. The law aims to decrease the use of fossil fuels in the state and is supposed to take effect for new buildings smaller than seven stories high by 2026. This means those properties will not be allowed to use gas-powered appliances like water heaters, furnaces, and stoves. The policy will apply to larger buildings starting in 2029. It does not apply to existing buildings.

The many unions and plaintiffs that are part of the lawsuit claim that the ban is already affecting them, even though the law hasn’t yet gone into effect. “​​The ban presents an existential threat for the small, family-owned businesses in New York that sell, install, and service gas equipment and infrastructure,” the filing said. “It threatens the livelihoods of the individuals who work in these fields.”"

Angely Mercado reports for Earther October 16, 2023.

Source: Earther, 10/20/2023