Last year, Berkeley became the first city in the United States to pass a ban on natural gas hookups in new buildings. Since then, about 30 local governments in California have passed restrictions or bans on the use of natural gas and several cities in other states may follow the Golden State’s lead.
These restrictions are being labeled as an essential part of California’s efforts to slash its greenhouse gas emissions. But last week, Southern California Gas Co. sued the California Energy Commission, claiming that by allowing the bans and promoting building electrification, the agency was creating “underground regulations” that were not permitted under state law. The lawsuit also seeks an order that would force the agency to “vacate its anti-natural gas policy.” (The California Restaurant Association has also sued to stop the bans on natural gas use.)