Description: This adopted ordinance will prohibit installation of natural gas (methane) infrastructure in new buildings in the city of Berkeley, CA. The ordinance relies on police powers granted by the California Constitution to cities to legislate for the general welfare of their residents. Transport, leakage, and combustion of natural gas are considered threats to the general welfare due to the history of post-earthquake fires fed by gas leaks, the global warming potential of methane that in turn contributes to sea level rise and deteriorating climate, and the health risks associated with combustion of methane in enclosed spaces.
Substitute electric heating and cooling infrastructure in new buildings powered by cleaner electricity is linked to significantly lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and is cost competitive because of the cost savings associated with all electric designs that avoid new gas infrastructure. Prohibiting installation of natural gas infrastructure results in elimination of associated GHG emissions in new buildings and reduces health and safety hazards produced by combustion and transport of natural gas.
Goal: Reduce carbon and methane emissions by prohibiting natural gas infrastructure in new buildings
Measurement: Percent decline in CO2e emissions from new buildings
Time to Implement: Estimated less than 1 year
Berkeley Ordinance Number 7,672-N.S.
Extensive Berkeley Background Materials: July 16, 2019 Transmittal to City Council
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District Four City Councilmember Kate Harrison
City of Berkeley