San Francisco Bans Natural Gas in New Buildings

San Francisco Skyline Painted Ladies (Justin Sullivan / Getty)
Justin Sullivan / Getty

San Francisco’s 11-member Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Monday to ban the use of natural gas in new buildings as a measure to fight climate change.

Ironically, the state relies on natural gas for electricity generation, and the city does to some extent as well.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported:

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to ban natural gas in new buildings, legislation that will apply to more than 54,000 homes and 32 million square feet of commercial space in the city’s development pipeline.

The measure, designed to help the city cut greenhouse gas emissions and improve safety, will apply to buildings that apply for a building permit after June 30.

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, sponsor of the legislation, called it “an incremental but important move to help save our planet.”

San Francisco has already banned natural gas for any new city-owned building. Berkeley banned gas in new buildings last year.

Natural gas accounts for roughly 40% of San Francisco’s overall emissions of greenhouse gases and 80% of building emissions. Requiring cleaner, all-electric buildings in new construction will increase building safety, reduce emissions citywide, and improve indoor air quality, Mandelman said.

However, the city still relies on natural gas for some of its electricity generation, meaning that buildings constructed under San Francisco’s new policy will still be relying partially on the same fossil fuel source for power, until the city replaces it.

As of 2010, natural gas provided nearly 20% of the city’s power. Hydroelectric power from the Hetch Hetchy system accounted for nearly 30%, and nuclear made up nearly 20%, with the rest provided by other sources.

The city aims to use 100% renewable energy by 2030.

The number-one source of electricity generation in the state is natural gas,

Moreover, electricity is relatively more expensive than natural gas, when compared to the national average, meaning that San Francisco could be forcing residents to pay more for energy — some of which will come from the same basic fossil fuel source.

Last year, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced his city’s own version of the “Green New Deal,” under which three natural gas power plants would be shuttered — even though officials warned that the city would struggle to generate enough power for its needs.

Garcetti has insisted that solar and wind power projects will be enough to meet demand.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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