Thursday, January 27, 2022

At The Request Of The Natural Gas Industry, House Republicans Pass Bill To Stop Communities From Adopting All-Electric Building Codes

At the request of the natural gas industry, House Republicans passed
House Bill 1947 (O’Neal-R- Washington) by a vote of 118 to 83 which preempts the ability of local governments to require the use of all-electric energy in buildings within their communities to reduce climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Some major U.S. cities have enacted or have proposed laws to ban or curb the use of fossil fuels in new homes and buildings,” said Rep. Tim O’Neal (R-Washington), prime sponsor of the bill. “It is important that people have the opportunity to choose their energy source and that a wide variety of options are available. By enacting this law, Pennsylvania would join states such as Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kansas and Louisiana in preserving choice.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported January 24 the reason behind the push to replace furnaces, water heaters and stoves with electric is that each flame fed by natural gas, propane or heating oil is a small source of greenhouse gas emissions.  Read more here.

Together, burning fossil fuels for heating and cooking in homes and businesses adds up to about 13 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

In addition, prices for natural gas, heating oil and propane driven by the whims of international energy markets reached decade-high levels this winter as economies began to emerge from the pandemic, pushing energy bills higher.  Read more here.

A new study released January 27 from Stanford University found natural gas cooking stoves may leak climate-changing methane even when they are turned off.  Read more here.

The bill is a companion to Senate Bill 275 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) that is still in the House Local Government Committee.

House Bill 1947 now goes to the Senate for action.


This legislation is part of a nation-wide initiative by the American Gas Association to get states across the country to adopt legislation to prohibit local governments from adopting ordinances that would block the use of natural gas in new homes and commercial construction.  Read more here.

While the Senate Bill’s sponsor said the intent of the legislation is simple-- preventing communities from prohibiting natural gas-- you need to read the black and white language of the bill to understand its true, far-reaching impact.

The Senate held a hearing on Senate Bill 275 last May where Pennsylvania local government groups raised serious concerns about the language of the bill.  Read more here.

Joseph H. Gerdes, III, PA State Association of Township Supervisors, said, “While we agree that municipalities do not have the current ability to regulate utility connections, we have concerns that the broad language in Senate Bill 275 could be open to interpretation and limit the ability of municipalities to regulate in the siting of power generation facilities, including commercial solar facilities.”

Ron Grutza, PA State Association of Boroughs, said “The sweeping nature of the preemption language in Senate Bill 275 could be problematic. We believe that enacting the legislation in the present form could create unintended consequences.

Amy Sturges, PA Municipal League, said, “The League is strongly opposed to the Senate Bill 275. Our members view the legislation as a preemption of local authority. Additionally, the language of the bill is unclear and broadly written which will be harmful to communities as they try to sort out the extent of its impact.”

Click Here to read more about comments offered at the hearing.


-- AP: At The Request Of The Natural Gas Industry, House Republicans Pass Bill To Stop Communities From Adopting All-Electric Building Codes

-- The Center Square: State Lawmakers Looking To Stop PA Municipalities From Banning Natural Gas Use

-- PG - Laura Legere: Push Is On To Switch To Energy Efficient Electrical Appliances; Each Flame Fed By Natural Gas, Propane Or Oil In Furnaces, Water Heaters, Stoves A Small Source Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

-- NPR/WESA: Natural Gas Stoves Leak Climate-Warming Methane Even When They’re Off

-- PG - Laura Legere: Equity Issues Central To Getting Household Electrification Right ‘For Everybody’

[Posted: January 27, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner