Wednesday, December 15, 2021

NYC Council Passes Bill Banning Natural Gas In New Buildings

The New York City Council, on Wednesday, passed a Measure that would Prevent most New Buildings from using Nnatural Gas, making New York the Largest U.S. City to take such a Step toward the Electrification of Buildings.

“We’re in a climate crisis and must take all necessary steps to fight climate change and protect our city,” Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-3rd District, Manhattan) said.

“We people have had to contend with the effects of global warming in the form of record-breaking fatal weather events, year after year,” said Councilwoman Alicka Ampry-Samuel (D-41st District, Brooklyn), who introduced the Bill.

Buildings Account for about 67% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the City. The Passage of the Bill, which will become effective Two years after Enactment, likely will lead to a Reduction in Air Pollution.

In a Joint Statement, Environmental Groups praised the Bill’s Passage but said they would have liked a Quicker time frame.

The Regional Plan Association, the Association for Energy Affordability, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Urban Green Council said, “The version of the law adopted today substantially tightens the emissions performance standard for buildings. It ensures new buildings will be all-electric, powered by an increasingly renewable grid, and eliminates renewable natural gas as a compliance strategy for new buildings. While we would have liked to see faster implementation, the law’s phased approach provides a strong but feasible schedule, with more than enough time to design all-electric buildings and address any technical challenges.”

Leaders emphasized the Historic Nature of the Bill. Councilman James Gennaro (D-24th District, Queens), who Chairs the Environmental Protection Committee, said Negotiations with Advocates, Industry, and Labor were Arduous. But he expressed Pride in the Finished Product, calling the Bill a “template for the nation.”

The Council introduced the Bill, as part of the City’s Goal to reach Carbon Neutrality by 2050.

The Bill includes Exemptions for “emergency standby power, a hardship preventing compliance with the bill, where the combustion of the substance is required by certain enumerated industries, and where the combustion of the substance is used on an intermittent basis in connection with a device that is not connected to the building’s gas supply line.”

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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