First ban on natural gas hook-up in place, more to follow

Berkeley, Calif. is the first U.S. city to ban new natural gas hook-ups to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. More than 12 other cities in California have passed similar regulations that have yet to go into effect. Brookline, Mass., near Boston, passed a similar rule and Seattle is considering a ban.

“Natural gas has traditionally been – and still is – the preferred cooking energy for most chefs and restaurant owners, providing high-quality food that meets customer expectations,” said Frank Johnson, Ph.D., R & D manager for residential and commercial foodservice, GTI. “The natural gas industry, working with the commercial foodservice industry, continues to contribute to the goal of reducing our carbon footprint by bringing to market new energy-efficient appliances that also offer significant energy savings. With continued research on ways to improve energy performance, as well as providing education and information about the benefits of newer equipment, the gas and commercial foodservice industries are well on their way to making this a better planet to live on and enjoy the food it provides,” Frank added.

The California Restaurant Association (CRA) is suing Berkeley in federal court, stating that “taking away a chef’s natural gas stove is akin to taking paint away from a painter and asking them to create a masterpiece.” The group is also arguing that the ban is “irresponsible” considering the rolling blackouts that California electric utility PG&E has been implementing to prevent power lines from sparking wildfires.