New York Edges Closer to Outright Gas Ban

Gas ranges are an endangered species in the Empire State

By Alan Wolf, YSN

A bill that could have spelled the end of all natural gas usage in New York was narrowly defeated by the state Assembly, but a coalition of doctors, scientists and legislators are pushing hard for its passage next year.

According to reports in Gothamist and the New York Post, the measure would allow natural gas pipelines to be decommissioned, limit the expansion of natural gas infrastructure and expedite the transition to all-electric cooking and heating appliances in homes statewide.

New York already passed a budget provision this past spring that requires electric or induction ranges in new residential buildings this decade, making it the first state in the nation to limit gas ovens and furnaces, according to CNN. Bans on natural gas and the appliances that use them are also gaining momentum in municipalities across the country over reported health and environmental concerns, while the federal government is using financial incentives to encourage a switch to electricity.

See: Why Gas Ranges May Be Running Out of Steam

Adding fuel to the anti-gas argument is a 600-page compendium from the Concerned Health Professionals of NY, one of the coalition groups, that documents research showing the harmful effects of fracking and burning natural gas in homes. According to the report, gas-powered appliances produce nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene and other pollutants that increase the risk of childhood asthma by 42% and have been linked to cancer and heart disease.

The proposed legislation passed the New York State Senate but received insufficient votes in the Assembly, where it is back in committee with 71 co-sponsors.

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