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Federal Court Slams the Door on Leftist California Law – Decides New Gas Ban “Circumvents Federal Law”
By Ben Dutka|April 18, 2023
Federal Court Slams the Door on Leftist California Law – Decides New Gas Ban “Circumvents Federal Law”

The Biden administration is well known for backing the green agenda, which has included suggesting that gas stoves should be eliminated.

California is on board with just about every facet of the climate agenda, of course, so it’s no surprise that the state supports a variety of bans against gas and fossil fuels.

However, one of the Golden State’s biggest cities tried to ban natural gas — and it didn’t fly.

In July 2019, the city council of Berkeley approved a ban that was supposed to go into effect in January 2020. It would’ve been the first city to ever approve such a rule.

Berkeley Councilwoman Kate Harrison wanted to take “more drastic action” on this climate change issue and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

But the new law quickly hit a roadblock, as the California Restaurant Association (CRA) filed a federal lawsuit, claiming the city doesn’t have the authority to ban new natural gas hookups.

A lower court ruled in favor of the city but the CRA filed an appeal in July 2021, and that led to this (via Fox News):

A federal appeals court ruled unanimously Monday that a natural gas ban proposed by the City of Berkeley, California, would illegally circumvent federal law.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that Berkeley’s natural gas piping ban, which the city’s government passed in 2019 as part of its climate agenda, violated the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975.

By banning gas pipes in new building construction, the city effectively violated the EPCA which prevents local regulations from impacting the energy use of natural gas appliances.

Judge Patrick Bumatay decided that Berkeley “can’t bypass preemption by banning natural gas piping within buildings rather than banning natural gas products themselves.”

Basically, he’s saying the city was just trying to find a way around the law to enforce its extreme climate agenda.

CRA President and CEO Jot Condie celebrated the decision, saying that “local ordinances cannot override federal law.” Condie added that the law was “an overreaching measure beyond the scope of any city.”

Natural gas appliances are critical for most restaurants, and many experts say it’s a clean and efficient way method of cooking.

But beyond that, cities can’t just decide to ignore federal law, which is precisely what the Ninth Circuit court has said. It’s an issue that continues to be in the public eye, regardless of the topic.

Unsurprisingly, Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) supported the Berkeley ban initially, then the White House flip-flopped and denounced the ban.

No matter how anyone feels on the subject, though, the primary issue involves existing federal law — and the fact that no city can simply ignore it (or find ways around it) to push their own agenda.

For many American citizens, there’s plenty of evidence to support the perceived lawlessness of Democratic-run cities and states.

Key Takeaways:

  • A federal appeals court ruled that a Berkeley, California ban on natural gas “illegally circumvents federal law.”
  • The city was trying to ban natural gas piping, which the judge said was just a way of getting around the law.
  • CRA President and CEO Jot Candie applauded the decision, saying Berkeley’s rule was “an overreaching measure beyond the scope of any city.”
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Ben Dutka
Ben S. Dutka is a journalist, writer and editor with over two decades of experience. He has worked with three newspapers and eight online publications, and he has also won a Connecticut short story contest entitled Art as Muse, Imaginary Realms. He has a penchant for writing, rowing, reading, video games, and Objectivism.
Ben S. Dutka is a journalist, writer and editor with over two decades of experience. He has worked with three newspapers and eight online publications, and he has also won a Connecticut short story contest entitled Art as Muse, Imaginary Realms. He has a penchant for writing, rowing, reading, video games, and Objectivism.
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