Natural gas may become a fuel of the past — at least in New York. And more than gas stoves will be discontinued, with New York Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul agreeing to a deal with Democratic lawmakers that would bar natural gas statewide.
The preliminary deal, the New York Post reported, would mandate all new buildings under seven stories to be fully electric by 2026. Larger structures would be affected in 2029, and it's part of a wider $229 billion spending plan.
"Everyone knows we've seen the effects of climate change, the storms, the hurricanes coming to New York, record snow amounts," Hochul told reporters Thursday. "Our budget prioritizes nation-leading climate action that meets this moment with ambition and the commitment it demands."
Although restaurants and other commercial establishments would be exempt from the new restrictions, some in the construction industry believe the change could seriously accelerate population losses.
"People are apt to make choices of whether they are located in New York state or somewhere else, and this will provide a further strain on the market until there's certainty about the availability in the grid as we move forward, so that's a real concern," said Joseph Hogan, vice president of building services at the Associated Contractors of New York State.
The Post noted that the likely prohibition follows recommendations from Hochul's Climate Action Council, established by a 2019 law passed in the New York Legislature.
In January, fossil fuels made up close to 43% of the 10,014-megawatt hours produced in New York state, with 6% coming from renewable sources, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
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