Berkeley to consider another environmental first with proposed ordinance banning new natural gas hookups.

From The East Bay Express

As the United States has begun transitioning away from the use of coal and petroleum as a source of electricity and fuel, natural gas has been viewed as a relatively benign fossil fuel. After all, natural gas produces less carbon dioxide when burned than those other fossil fuels. It remains the energy source in about half of California’s buildings.

But scientists have increasingly warned that methane, the main component of natural gas, is itself a key heat-trapping gas — 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide in the first twenty years after release, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. In addition to the carbon dioxide created by its burning, the inevitable leaks as natural gas is extracted and shipped, make gas a serious climate threat in its own right.

State policy calls for the electrification of buildings — the source of about 10 percent of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, mostly from natural gas. Several state agencies and many cities and counties are working on a variety of programs to promote electrification. But none have gone as far as the ordinance scheduled to come before the Berkeley City Council on July 9.

Once again, the City of Berkeley is considering a groundbreaking environmental policy: This time it’s a ban on natural gas hookups in all new buildings, starting January 1, 2020.

Berkeley is about to see a “wave of new multistory construction,” with at least 3,100 residential units currently planned, said Councilmember Kate Harrison, who introduced the measure. “These buildings will be in place for 100 years,” she said. “Emergency action is needed to prevent locking in the greenhouse gas and safety impacts” of natural gas.

In addition to the fuel’s impact on climate change, Harrison also noted that using natural gas means “pumping a toxic, flammable liquid over fault lines into our homes.” Cooking with gas is linked to asthma attacks and hospitalizations, hitting hardest in children and communities of color. A 2013 Lawrence Berkeley Lab study found that in 60 percent of the homes with gas stoves, the air pollution level violates federal standards for outdoor air. “Your Gas Stove is Bad for You and the Planet,” a recent guest editorial in The New York Times, reported that “a growing body of scientific evidence has shown that gas stoves throw off pollutants like nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide.” Natural gas also is a fire hazard. A 2017 study by the US Geological Services identified broken gas lines as a key risk factor during an earthquake. Much of the damage and loss of life after an earthquake is caused by fires from broken gas lines.

So far, no opposition to the proposed gas ban has emerged. But pushback is expected, since many builders and residents are unfamiliar with the relatively new technologies for electric heating, cooling, and cooking. The city council committee working on the bill held two hearings for developers, but none showed up. “The next step is outreach to builders and the business community,” Harrison said.

Read the full article here.

HT/Willie Soon

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Mark Broderick
July 7, 2019 2:15 pm


Reply to  Mark Broderick
July 7, 2019 11:17 pm

These people are barking mad. There was not a technically coherent thread in any of that. The fact that there is no opposition says the are ignorant too.

Reply to  Mark
July 8, 2019 2:42 am

“These buildings will be in place for 100 years,” she said.

Really, is that what is stated in the design specifications? I doubt that any building built now will still be standing in 30 years.

Reply to  Greg
July 9, 2019 7:27 am

Go to Sydney Australia and they are falling down within less than 10 years!

Reply to  Mark
July 8, 2019 10:41 am

In a fault zone, an ACTIVE fault zone, transitioning away from natural gas to remove a source of post-quake fires has its merits. To change (quote) Global Warming (un-quote) by an infinitesimal amount is silly.

July 7, 2019 2:29 pm

Good. I’ll get my wood stove working and start cutting trees!

Curious George
Reply to  Safariman
July 7, 2019 3:06 pm

Does this directly clash with building affordable housing? California’s electricity is the most expensive in the nation. But who cares for children and communities of color?

Ann Banisher
Reply to  Curious George
July 7, 2019 6:11 pm

That is minor idiocy compared to a bill circulating that is proposing that all affordable housing must be built using prevail wage. Talk about an oxymoron.
I can only imagine the meetings they must have to discuss it.

James Beaver
Reply to  Ann Banisher
July 8, 2019 1:23 pm

I’ve been in meetings like that. Then I resigned.

Paul S
Reply to  Curious George
July 8, 2019 8:48 am

How do they propose to create the electricity?

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Curious George
July 11, 2019 3:44 pm

Paul S July 8, 2019 at 8:48 am

How do they propose to create the electricity:

There’s this affordable housing building; next this asthma attacked and hospitalizationed, hardest hitted in children and communities of color, to burn to create electricity.

John Minich
Reply to  Safariman
July 7, 2019 3:46 pm

Safariman: You are a true environmentalist ! Wood stoves are a prime example using renewable energy, and since the fuel is natural and organic, we know it is good and safe for us and the environment. Some of my sarcasm about “natural and organic” comes from my high school chemistry class where I learned that about half of the naturally occurring organic chemicals are poisonous. There was a bottle of banana ester passed around and we were warned to be careful with it. The bottle was heavily marked with skull and crossbones and poison. In college biology, there was a one frame cartoon of a store display of mushrooms. On one end, it said Mushrooms- $1/pound, the other end said Mushrooms?- 5 cents/pound.

Reply to  John Minich
July 7, 2019 7:30 pm

No, you really don’t understand the plan. Set yourself up a dung burner – the fuel will be delivered right to your doorstep.

Paul S
Reply to  Writing Observer
July 8, 2019 8:53 am

Half of the world cooks with wood and dung. what could go wrong?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  John Minich
July 7, 2019 9:31 pm

Absolutely everything is made from all natural ingredients.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
July 8, 2019 5:11 am

Except about 4% of the CO2 is made from unnatural carbon.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
July 11, 2019 4:26 pm

Lot of things Berkeley has to consider: how to make unnatural CO2, unnatural methane, unnatural oxigen to oxidize aka combust aka burn all that other stuff.

R Shearer
Reply to  Safariman
July 7, 2019 5:14 pm

Wait until they find out that water is the most potent greenhouse gas. No water for you.

July 7, 2019 2:30 pm

Vancouver, BC is also planning to ban new natural gas hook ups, including phasing out existing commercial restaurants that use a gas range for cooking all their meals on. That would include ovens, such as pizza ovens. When these commercial eatery’s made some complaints that this was completely unfair since foods cooked with an open flame by a chef are much more desired by customers, (not to mention more economical) it was then revealed that ‘renewable’ natural gas would still be allowed. But Fortis, the gas company, said it could only supply 1% of the 108,000 NG customers with renewable gas, presumably methane from the local land fills. What a farce this has become, since in other jurisdictions that generate or import electricity from NG will actually produce more emissions when you consider CCGT is at best 60% efficient for electricity generation, while the nat gas itself is 95%+ efficient when used thermally for heat or cooking directly. And even less so, if the NG generation is backing up wind or solar electricity production for use in the cities instead of NG. So probably much more CO2 emissions from this wacky proposal.

This link is a few years old now, so not sure what all has transpired since, but the rabid left led by the former mayor, Gregor Robertson, is still pushing this wacky scheme in the name of climate change. The leftists are just hell bent on denying anyone access to clean burning natural gas.

Reply to  Earthling2
July 7, 2019 3:26 pm

speaking of pizza ovens….and gas

At least 21 injured after gas explosion at vacant pizza restaurant in Florida shopping center

John Minich
Reply to  Earthling2
July 7, 2019 3:55 pm

Earthling2 : It is my understanding that a bill or bills are going through the California state legislature to eventually ban natural for cooking, heating, and generating electricity. New construction is to be !00% electric and then to retrofit older buildings and homes.

Reply to  John Minich
July 7, 2019 7:19 pm

Where are they going to get the electricity? Solar and wind don’t work for keeping a city alive 24/7.

Reply to  Philo
July 8, 2019 12:11 am

They will be getting electricity from over the state line by fossil fuel burning plants, thus the state will carbon free. Duh! This will obviously increase the total CO2 output and reduce efficiency by large numbers.

michael hart
Reply to  Mark
July 8, 2019 4:08 am

And then they will find a way to ban that electricity too.
And then they will really find out.
And I will enjoy watching. It’s worth living longer for.

Reply to  Mark
July 8, 2019 11:56 am

Agreed, Mark!
Germany has shown the way….with such wonderful virtue, eliminating much power production in Germany, then importing energy from evil Earth-killers like the Danes and the French with their carbon burning and nuclear energy plants.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Philo
July 11, 2019 5:33 pm

Philo, only bad company keeps a city alive 24/7!

The children shall be in bed latest 20:00. With the first light they should be up to gather firewood + potatoes for breakfast.

And parents should dim the whale oil lamps while sitting up reading the post or knitting.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Earthling2
July 8, 2019 3:56 am

But, but, but, …….. how will the restaurants cook with a wok on an electric stove?

Gerry, England
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
July 8, 2019 5:54 am

People have just got to change what they do and how they live. This is a climate emergency – didn’t you get the memo? In the UK the parliament – a building containing 650 of the dimmest people in the land – have voted on it because a schoolgirl told them it was true. Councils are making declarations too. And we are, well, actually, just waffling because they don’t have a clue what they are doing. We should be grateful as the less they do the less they screw up things.

Robert Greene
July 7, 2019 2:37 pm

Natural gas in pipes is a liquid?

I’m all for Berkeley banning not just new construction NG but all forms of fossil fuels and petroleum products. And do it now. Show us that brave new world so that we may marvel

Bryan A
Reply to  Robert Greene
July 7, 2019 9:36 pm

In addition to the fuel’s impact on climate change, Harrison also noted that using natural gas means “pumping a toxic, flammable liquid over fault lines into our homes.”
I had to laugh at that one myself. The Natural Gas pumped into houses by utilities is in gaseous form rather than liquid. Liquefied Natural Gas LNG is used mainly as an alternative fuel source in automobiles but not piped into homes.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Bryan A
July 8, 2019 4:09 am

Both liquefied NG and ESPECIALLY propane can be purchase in pressurized cylinders for home heating, camping and barbeque “grilling” ….. but the cylinders are affixed with “pressure regulators” ….. and its not smart to store those cylinders inside your home or business.

Bryan A
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
July 8, 2019 5:38 am

Don’t remind them…those will be vanished as well

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
July 8, 2019 6:48 am

Liquefied propane yes, liquefied NG no. NG is sold as a highly pressurized gas @ approximately 3000 lbs/in^2 for cars and trucks. In order to liquefy it, it needs to be refrigerated, with is onerous for all but large scale transportation of NG (as in shipping overseas).

Steve Taylor
Reply to  Bryan A
July 8, 2019 9:04 am

And methane isn’t toxic IIRC

James Beaver
Reply to  Bryan A
July 8, 2019 1:21 pm

Liquefied NG is liquefied for transport on large ships that can keep it refrigerated, not for use by mobile vehicles. The NG used in vehicles is a compressed gas, not a liquid. Propane is used in liquefied form, but not NG.

Hocus Locus
July 7, 2019 2:45 pm

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

~Dorothy Parker

Reply to  Hocus Locus
July 7, 2019 3:11 pm

Heh, ‘Big Hydrocarbon Bonde’.

Reply to  Hocus Locus
July 7, 2019 3:55 pm

Dorothy Parker
She had a wonderful ability to skewer just about anyone or anything. In this case, suicide.

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
Reply to  Hocus Locus
July 7, 2019 5:32 pm

Convert natural gas at capital intensive $billion plants to electricity and lose 40% of the energy instead of direct combustion at the burner tip increases consumption and doubles the cost to the consumer. Great work democrats. Note: of course you can also ban natural gas power plants and we can get all of our power from Ivanpah style concentrated solar right? Shameful stupidity.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Dennis Gerald Sandberg
July 7, 2019 6:41 pm

The sooner people realize the climate change scam is about harvesting gob loads of cash via electric bills from the middle class to Tom Steyer’s investments, the sooner this lunacy of corrupt cronyism capitalism will end. And it has nothing to do with affordable or reliable electricity, and certainly not about climate, which is the ruse.

Joe B
Reply to  Dennis Gerald Sandberg
July 8, 2019 1:26 am

No joy for Ivanpah sans overnight natgas burning.
It is needed to keep the fuel “cooking” until sunrise when the bird fryers kick in and do their thing.

holly elizabeth Birtwistle
July 7, 2019 2:48 pm

It absolutely boggles the mind, at how ideology trumps logic, facts, or reasoning or thinking a proposal through. ” The next step is outreach to builders and the business community” Harrison said. Good luck with that. Builders and bisinessmen live in the real world.

R Shearer
July 7, 2019 2:57 pm

Double the bill for switching from natural gas to electric heating (+ water, drying) and double it again for being in California. Builders won’t notice the increased costs but consumers will.

Dan Sudlik
July 7, 2019 3:03 pm

You don’t need any more buildings. LA and San Francisco have proven that living on the streets works just fine. Of course let’s start with those wonderful legislators showing us the way.

July 7, 2019 3:09 pm

“…hitting hardest in children and communities of color.”
No matter the logic or science in the discussion, whenever that emotional appeal is introduced I become skeptical.

Curious George
Reply to  czechlist
July 7, 2019 4:11 pm

Isn’t it exactly where this ordinance will hit hardest?

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Curious George
July 7, 2019 5:19 pm

Children don’t pay the bills, the parents do. So it’ll hit every family no matter the community.

I have no knowledge of what issues the communities of color have in relation to work or money.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  czechlist
July 7, 2019 5:21 pm

“communities of color” (said obviouly by a pasty white Dem bureaucrat) are filling up the hospitals because they are cooking with gas! This precious phraseology reminds me of the missionaries I met in Nigeria in the 1960s who were bringing “light” to the “dark” continent. Doing God’s work. All this modern rot by the left is very much like the missionaries plaints.

I thought we were supposed to be all equal by now. Why is there a need to remain separate and aloof by these loathesome virtuous drones. Why do all the types in the diversity bin need to be spoken for by white guardians? Why are binned folk so helpless and have such weak constitutions and need so much direction?

Surely communities of “color” must be sick and tired of the this paternalistic ugliness.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Gary Pearse
July 7, 2019 9:36 pm

White isn’t a color?

Rod Evans
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
July 8, 2019 2:01 am

CO2, unless you are called Greta.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
July 8, 2019 3:27 am

No, white is not a colour, it’s all colours.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Gary Pearse
July 8, 2019 4:19 am

Why is there a need to remain separate

Because the Democrats are “for the poor”, …… and they have to keep them poor so that the poor people will keep voting for them.

Reply to  czechlist
July 7, 2019 7:00 pm

You confuse a feature with a bug. How can the Calizuela leaders create class conflict if they don’t screw low income voters and blame it on the 1%?

July 7, 2019 3:21 pm

Every building with indoor bathroom facilities has sewer vents belching methane. I suppose out houses will be coming back. Or outlaw defecation.

Mark Broderick
Reply to  JimG1
July 7, 2019 7:34 pm

” I suppose out houses will be coming back”..?
Who needs outhouses, just sheet on the sidewalks like in Calipornia!

Pat Frank
July 7, 2019 3:23 pm

“Gas stove use and respiratory health among adults with asthma in NHANES III” here.

“Background: Gas stoves release respiratory irritants, such as nitrogen dioxide and other combustion by-products. Adults with asthma may be susceptible to the effects of gas stove exposure because of their underlying airway hyper responsiveness, but this association has been difficult to establish.

“Conclusions: Among adults with asthma, there was no apparent impact of gas stove use on pulmonary function or respiratory symptoms. These results should be reassuring to adults with asthma and their health care providers.”

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pat Frank
July 7, 2019 5:42 pm

Maybe some folks smell burnt Mercaptan and convince themselves they are having a reaction.
I find the smell of a ventless gas log reminds me of flue gas from a gas furnace. I get an involuntary sensory warning anytime I smell that indoors. It seems to burn my sinus linings when I’m around a ventless heater and I think it has to do with the Mercapatan oderant.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Pat Frank
July 8, 2019 4:27 am

Un-stripped NG, at the wellhead, can consist of:

Natural gas is composed primarily of methane, but may also contain ethane, propane and heavier hydrocarbons. Small quantities of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, sulfur compounds, and water may also be found.

John MacDonald
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
July 8, 2019 3:28 pm
Pat Frank
July 7, 2019 3:26 pm

“Gas cooking, kitchen ventilation, and asthma, allergic symptoms and sensitization in young children – the PIAMA study” here.

“Background: Several studies reported inconsistent associations between using gas for cooking and respiratory symptoms or lung function in children.

“Methods: Data on respiratory and allergic symptoms and diagnoses were collected by yearly questionnaires in a population of over 3000 children participating in a birth cohort study on development of allergy and asthma. At 4 years of age, a sub‐sample of 647 children provided blood samples for antibody testing. Data on gas cooking and kitchen ventilation were collected when the children were 5 years old. Based on these data a model was constructed to determine the chance of accumulation of combustion products (CACP) in the kitchen.

“Results: No relationship was found between gas cooking and any of the respiratory or allergy outcomes except nasal symptoms. The overall results did not change when the ‘CACP’ was used as exposure variable instead, while the association for nasal symptoms decreased to borderline significance.

“Conclusion: Our results suggest that gas cooking per se is associated with nasal symptoms in young children and not with the other respiratory symptoms that were investigated. Taking kitchen ventilation characteristics into account did not lead to different conclusions in this population where, according to the classification system, the majority of households using gas for cooking have insufficient kitchen ventilation.”

R Shearer
Reply to  Pat Frank
July 7, 2019 4:33 pm

It comes down to having proper ventilation.

July 7, 2019 3:27 pm

Well, that should increase the price of existing homes. Way to go, Berkeley, and you’ll be making new starter homes more expensive, too. Of course, greedy builders will be blamed for that.

Rich Davis
Reply to  jtom
July 7, 2019 4:49 pm

Anyone daft enough to want to live in Bezerkeley deserves all the punishments that they receive.

Joel O'Bryan
July 7, 2019 3:28 pm

Bought and paid for pols making California more unaffordable for the middle class. And those that stay are locked into paying higher electric bills to the GreenSlime running their renewable energy shakedown schemes.

Ron Long
July 7, 2019 3:29 pm

Gas hook-up ban in Berkeley, huh? Here’s my solution: collect all of the rubber tire treads thrown off of tire recaps, put them in a stove and burn them. Make sure you have a good stove pipe so the smell doesn’t gag you, but too bad for your neighbors, who are commies after all.

R Shearer
Reply to  Ron Long
July 7, 2019 5:13 pm

What was that Eric Clapton song, “If you want to hang out, you’ve got to take her out, propane.

Reply to  R Shearer
July 8, 2019 10:24 am
Dave Miller
Reply to  R Shearer
July 8, 2019 4:07 pm

That’s a JJ Cale song, to be a putz.

Wayne Townsend
July 7, 2019 3:31 pm

From the article: “And gas prices are expected to rise as the use of gas declines.”

Perhaps someone should introduce these people to the concept of the impact of supply and demand upon price.

Reply to  Wayne Townsend
July 7, 2019 5:40 pm

I expect the price of gas to rise, because the extra demand for electricity will be met by means of natural gas power plants, with combined generation, transmission and distribution efficiency around 40%. So, natural gas usage will be increased by the feel-good ban on new natural gas hookups.

July 7, 2019 3:32 pm

The lunatics in Berkeley, San Fran, Oakland are turning their communities into third world pits of devolution. They prove the adage that education alone does not result in wisdom.

Michael Jankowski
July 7, 2019 3:40 pm

New constructiom? Berkeley’s estimated 2017 population was about 8% higher than it was in 1950.

Randy Wester
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
July 7, 2019 4:35 pm

“Berkeley’s estimated 2017 population was about 8% higher than it was in 1950.” But divorce and smaller families with higher expectations mean more than 8% additional housing.

Farmer Ch E retired
July 7, 2019 3:41 pm

Brilliant move – this will insure that only the high tax payers can afford live in Berkeley and the poor will be relegated outside the city’s economic walls. /s

July 7, 2019 3:43 pm

How ironic since the State of CA’s own vicious Title-24 regulations especially PUNISH the use of electric resistance heating as a horrifically inefficient heating source. Same with every other electric appliance.

And the rest of the country wonders why housing is so damned expensive in CA …

Smart Rock
Reply to  Kenji
July 7, 2019 6:39 pm

Resistive electric heating in a mild climate like California is very inefficient compared with heat pumps. Which can also act as air conditioners when it gets hot (due to AGW of course).

Feel free to carp, Kenji, but do try and get your facts in order. No sane person promotes resistive electric heating.

Of course, anyone thinking that natural gas is a liquid, might not be able to distinguish between different types of electric heating.

Reply to  Smart Rock
July 8, 2019 12:16 pm

I’m sorry? What’s LNG?

So why aren’t Heat pumps the dominant heating/cooling appliance in CA? It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that a simple natural gas fired heater is cheaper to fabricate and operate … would it? And with current technology, these heaters are 97% efficient. Now tell me how efficient is that electron … by the time it reaches your heat pump? Get back to me when you get those facts in order.

Pat Frank
July 7, 2019 3:50 pm

I believe I found the exact 2013 LBL study, here: “Pollutant Exposures from Natural Gas Cooking Burners: A Simulation-Based Assessment for Southern California

Regular readers here will never guess how the study was carried out. I’m going to bold the relevant words.

“Background: Residential natural gas cooking burners (NGCBs) can emit substantial quantities of pollutants, and they are typically used without venting range hoods.

“Objective: We quantified pollutant concentrations and occupant exposures resulting from NGCB use in California homes.

“Methods: A mass-balance model was applied to estimate time-dependent pollutant concentrations throughout homes in Southern California and the exposure concentrations experienced by individual occupants. We estimated nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and formaldehyde (HCHO) concentrations for 1 week each in summer and winter for a representative sample of Southern California homes. The model simulated pollutant emissions from NGCBs as well as NO2 and CO entry from outdoors, dilution throughout the home, and removal by ventilation and deposition. Residence characteristics and outdoor concentrations of NO2 and CO were obtained from available databases. We inferred ventilation rates, occupancy patterns, and burner use from household characteristics. We also explored proximity to the burner(s) and the benefits of using venting range hoods. Replicate model executions using independently generated sets of stochastic variable values yielded estimated pollutant concentration distributions with geometric means varying by < 10%.

"Results: The simulation model estimated that—in homes using NGCBs without coincident use of venting range hoods—62%, 9%, and 53% of occupants are routinely exposed to NO2, CO, and HCHO levels that exceed acute health-based standards and guidelines. NGCB use increased the sample median of the highest simulated 1-hr indoor concentrations by 100, 3,000, and 20 ppb for NO2, CO, and HCHO, respectively.

“Conclusions: Reducing pollutant exposures from NGCBs should be a public health priority. Simulation results suggest that regular use of even moderately effective venting range hoods would dramatically reduce the percentage of homes in which concentrations exceed health-based standards.”

It appears they made no measurements and quantified no outcomes.

It’s turtles models all the way down

Reply to  Pat Frank
July 7, 2019 4:51 pm

Can we get a MODEL showing definitively that the behavior displayed by Berkeley will lead to massive increases in housing costs, more people living in the streets and by 2035, people will be living in their cars that have no gas and eating out of garbage cans? After all, models never lie so this should work to terrify the morons who go along with this slow suicide.

July 7, 2019 3:54 pm

I had a good friend back in the 1970s who called the place Berserkley. She moved there in the late 1970s and said it was just as nuts as she’d thought it would be.

If it was nuts then, what’s it like now? (Rhetorical question, no answer required.)

My gas stove is the only thing that kept me warm last winter when a slop/slush storm knocked out the power for nearly 400,000 people in my area. No, I did not just burn gas. I heated water for tea and hot cocoa, and I lit the stove with kitchen matches.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Sara
July 7, 2019 4:56 pm

When I lived in Massachusetts there were several times when our power was knocked out by ice storms for days. Kept the main part of the house manage-ably warm with the gas stove top burners.
House had CO detectors on all floors. They never went off.
Having natural gas saved our butts from high electric bills. And I understand electric rates in Mass have gone up 50% since I sold the house and left in 2012, meanwhile the natural gas rates have gone down. Getting people stuck in electricity with no other option is the game being played here by the GreenSlimers.

Affordable natural gas is an existential threat to the wind and solar renewable energy scam. So this war on Natural Gas is being funded from Tom Steyer and the rest of the GreenSlime who have bought and paid for the pols now doing their bidding.

Bryan A
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 8, 2019 5:48 am

Not only that but gas is a necessity for emergency home heating in winter when the wind turbines are frozen and solar panels are covered with snow.
I’ve cooked with both gas and electric ranges and much prefer gas.

July 7, 2019 4:05 pm

Go for it!

We like large-scale lab rat experiments, in CA at least.

July 7, 2019 4:09 pm

“Transitioning”? California has added some wind and solar farms but I doubt enough to make up for the increased demand during the same period despite all the propaganda. Gas is still king. Hydro in and out of state next and they ‘claim’ solar is third but only in their mind. You can’t get an honest answer. The net/net for gas usage will probably be a wash.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  markl
July 7, 2019 6:35 pm

You can’t get a straight up, honest answer on how much wind and solar truly costs per KWh b/c of tax credits at the state and federal levels, and directives to utilities to purchase when available eve if not needed, thus wind/solar producers can get paid to not produce, and the cost passed through to the rate payers.

Reply to  markl
July 8, 2019 6:46 am


‘As the United States has begun transitioning away from the use of coal and petroleum as a source of electricity and fuel’

I didn’t read any further.

Say it enough times, and people will believe the Big Lie.

Henry chance
July 7, 2019 4:18 pm

Natural gas is used to dehydrate gypsum on the steps to make cement. Takes 60 cement trucks to deliver the concrete for the pad for a modern fan/turbine.

Nancy Pelosie says Natural Gas is not a fossil fuel.

July 7, 2019 4:35 pm

“Berkeley is about to see a “wave of new multistory construction,” with at least 3,100 residential units currently planned, said Councilmember Kate Harrison, who introduced the measure.”

I thought Berkeley was full. Where are these going to go? Presumably they replace blocks of old single family houses in the lower, poorer part of town. Does multistory mean walk-ups or high-rises? Or with that many units, is it “projects” style? I think this matters more than what they heat it with. In any case, I’m glad that they are volunteering to be the guinea pig. Go for it. They can beg for nuclear power later.

Bruce Cobb
July 7, 2019 4:52 pm

The Cult of Carbon Climageddon are using the same tried-and-true tactics on NG as they did on coal, of spreading lies about it. They have already decided that it’s “bad”, so all they have to do is cobble together a bunch of lies or things that have been known about for ages, but now, suddenly, that makes NG the villain. Classic.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
July 7, 2019 5:56 pm

NG has been villainized by the same faction that did so to CO2,
That should explain it.

July 7, 2019 5:00 pm

I live in the vicinity of the Great Lakes. My furnace died and I had to heat with electricity for a while. The bills were eye watering. The thing is that my house is far better insulated than most of the others in the area. My neighbors, flat out, would not be able to afford to heat electrically.

July 7, 2019 5:03 pm

Hmmm. What is more efficient, burn gas and use the heat on site, or burn gas to make electricity, run the electricity through a bunch of wires, then run the electricity through some appliance to turn the energy back into heat. I suppose if you have an ultra efficient power plant and appliances, you might compete with ancient gas appliances, but the odds are they are promoting waste.

Randy Wester
Reply to  Doug
July 8, 2019 8:08 am

Even better is micro chp – burn natural gas in a small generator, use all the electricity and all the heat.

Hard to get them here in North America becauae they’re over $10,000. Popular in Japan where almost all peteoleum is imported, natural gas is expensive, and nuclear power is unpopular.

Dave Fair
July 7, 2019 5:25 pm

Progressive politicians will continue pushing their ideology until the Yellow Vests come out.

July 7, 2019 5:27 pm

“But scientists have increasingly warned that methane, the main component of natural gas, is itself a key heat-trapping gas — 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide in the first twenty years after release, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.”

CH4 doesn’t trap heat, negligible impact on the heat budget.

No evidence that it is 84 more potent than CO2 and doesn’t last 20 years in the atmosphere.

I can’t get excited when they promote easy to spot baloney.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
July 7, 2019 7:15 pm

But the proles have been conditioned to believe the baloney.

Joe B
Reply to  Sunsettommy
July 8, 2019 1:38 am

No joy for Ivanpah sans overnight natgas burning.
It is needed to keep the fuel “cooking” until sunrise when the bird fryers kick in and do their thing.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
July 8, 2019 8:36 am

Last time I checked, the goal was to burn the gas, so whatever the “heat trapping” abilities of CH4 may be, it isn’t relevant.

July 7, 2019 5:28 pm

We went through a time in the Midwest US when new natural gas hookups were prohibited because of a shortage. New homes were “all electric.” After several years the “shortage” ended and new hookups were permitted.

Every house but one in my neighborhood converted to gas.

Resistance heat was expensive. Heat pumps cost less to operate (than resistance furnaces) but had a short operating life. Heat pumps also delivered warm air in high volumes so houses (subjectively) never felt warm. Heat pumps were noisy because of the high volume of air circulated.

Cooking on an electric stove is at best annoying. Maybe induction stoves have solved that. We’ll see.

The bottom line is that people forced to heat and cook with electricity will be mad at the politicians that voted to outlaw natural gas. And they’ll be reminded of how mad they are every time the heat pump comes on or they have to boil an egg.

Bottom line number two … Will there be enough electrical power available to service all those houses and commercial buildings?

Dave Fair
Reply to  rovingbroker
July 7, 2019 5:38 pm

Enough electricity to meet the new load, rovingbroker? Don’t irritate your masters by asking questions when they are in the process of directing your life.

July 7, 2019 5:36 pm

The following can be deduced from the MODTRAN Simulation.
The assertion that CH4 is a much more effective greenhouse gas than CO2 (numbers range all over, from about 15 to the 84x quoted here) depends on how the two gas concentrations are compared.
The amount of GH warming forced by a unit (per molecule, or ppm) increase in GH gas concentration (CH4 or CO2) when concentration is low (as with CH4 today) is much greater than the amount of GH warming forced by a unit increase in GH gas concentration when concentration is high (as with CO2 today). This is the so-called log-CO2 effect, where current partial saturation of IR absorption by CO2 decreases its effectiveness. Thus, at today’s atmospheric concentrations of CH4 and CO2, one unit (ppm) increase in CH4 produces about 23 times the warming as does a unit increase in CO2. IF CH4 and CO2 were in equal concentrations, CO2 would produce more warming on a unit increase basis than CH4. In per-molecule equal comparison, CO2 is a more effective greenhouse gas.

Smart Rock
Reply to  donb
July 7, 2019 7:01 pm

The 80× or 84× number has been around for at least 20 years. I suspect that they got it by using not molar concentration (which is normal for gases) but weight concentration. Methane has a molar weight of 16, compared with 44 for CO2, so by using ppmw instead of ppmv, 23× becomes 23 × (44 ÷ 16) = 63.25×. Not 80 or 84, but close enough for climate science. Big scary numbers!!

Or, they just made it up.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Smart Rock
July 8, 2019 3:42 am

I’d go with they just made it up. That has worked for them so far over the past thirty years.
Have you noticed it is always the public sector employed “experts” that tell us what we must do?
We have no way of refusing, we can’t de-fund them, we can’t stop buying from them because they don’t produce anything. We can’t vote them out because they are not elected. They are public sector jobs for life tax payer funded shrills but not tax payer controlled.
The time for change is approaching. We can not survive with so many destructive agents operating against humanity and humanity’s basic needs.

Robert of Texas
July 7, 2019 6:02 pm

Forget climate change and just consider the risk of earthquakes… Getting rid of gas lines kind of makes sense in an earthquake prone area. That, or retrofit existing lines with more automatic safety cutoff valves that shut down when they lose power or sense a big pressure drop – not just the main lines but all of them.

Solar rooftops make the same kind of sense in earthquake prone areas.

Not that I am advocating government interference, but if I were crazy enough to live near the San Andreas Fault, I certainly WOULD consider a solar roof and no gas lines whatsoever.

If California keeps it up, the cost of Grid supplied electricity will be so high that a solar rooftop will be the only way to get affordable power (yeah, at $0.50 a KwH, it will be cheaper then the Grid). In some cases the ONLY way to get power (due to the power self-imposed power outages for fire risk).

The smart person would simply move.

Pop Piasa
July 7, 2019 6:12 pm

What happens in Berkeley (hopefully) stays in Berkeley. It’ll take a huge upgrade in electrical capacity to replace the joules produced by 90%+ NG furnaces, not to mention the extra load of everybody charging their electric cars. I know, heating is not an issue in Berkeley, but their circumstances differ greatly from most of the US.

July 7, 2019 6:55 pm

Damn, I was 90% of the way into planning for my Berkeley joint Natatorium/Crematorium business venture; had the property picked out … had the logo & everything.

I suppose I’ll have to go elsewhere.

July 7, 2019 7:04 pm

New York Governor Cuomo is way ahead of the self destruction curve:

July 7, 2019 7:24 pm

This has got to be an Onion article. No? Then heaven help us. Ignorance and idiocy seems to be rampant!

July 7, 2019 9:21 pm

This anti natural gas stuff is being peddled in every City with left wing leadership.

I’m very curious about who (what group) is initially coordinating the contacts with the local wackos (in this case Kate Harrison).

July 7, 2019 11:43 pm

Is this part of a search for a new climate bogey? There have been recent publications about the benefits of CO2 and some acceptance that the amount of vegetation on earth is increasing, possibly due to increased CO2 levels, so it is entirely possible that CO2 may be deregistered as a pollutant before too long.
Making methane the new villain, will allow pressure to be maintained on oil, gas and coal industries, as well as the beef industry,
Watch this space!

July 8, 2019 1:43 am


Rod Evans
July 8, 2019 2:17 am

The COGS demonisation of energy, no matter what form it takes continues.
The uptick in anti gas in all forms from the Green Socialists is directly related to the success of the USA fracking industry. The Greens are doing everything in their armoury to stop the UK fracking.
Sadly the UK establishment/institution is fast becoming as crazy as California. We have towns and cities trying to ban all forms of burning fuel for heat. The Log burners that are a feature of many city houses these days, mostly for appearance but occasionally lit for winter warmth/ambience are being targeted now. We have also been told there will be no gas connection to new properties from 2025 onward.
As you say in the USA go figure.

Gerald the Mole
July 8, 2019 3:09 am

I live in the UK and have just received a quarterly summary of my domestic fuel usage. I only use gas and electricity in my house. The cost was about the same for each. For the same money I got about six times as much energy from the gas than from the electricity supplied to my house. If I was forced to go all electric the cost implication is horrific. Never mind about where would the extra electricity come from and is the distribution system capable of supplying the extra demand.

July 8, 2019 3:40 am

If they believe that NG is so dangerous then why do that allow it at all? Ban it! Make everyone convert. And think of all the new “Green Jobs” that will be created by doing so. The sooner Berzerkeley does it the better.

michael hart
July 8, 2019 4:01 am

“…the inevitable leaks as natural gas is extracted and shipped, make gas a serious climate threat in its own right.

At least when we had “town gas” derived from coal (and containing carbon monoxide) people could stick their head in the oven as a relatively pleasant means of committing suicide when they could no longer bear the screeching preaching of crazed environmentalists.

Rod Evans
July 8, 2019 5:51 am

Depopulation and Detroitification by any other means. If you make it impossible to live there no body will.
Maybe they have a plan after all…

Gunga Din
July 8, 2019 6:42 am

Berkeley needs to add to their ordinance.
“All new construction must replace windows with solar panels and all bricks and concrete with batteries.”
Problem solved!

July 8, 2019 6:48 am

What are they going to do when the “Great Cooling” comes and they are going to need a lot more heat?

July 8, 2019 9:26 am

Is it just me, or does this article read like the warning label on DHMO ??

Max Porath
July 8, 2019 12:26 pm

I wonder how long it will be before some California law maker proposes an entirely energy based economy where the Dollar is replaced by the Kwh and everyone is paid in energy credits that would be used to ‘purchase’ food, clothing, lodging…etc?

Of course, everyone would be ‘paid’ the same regardless of what they do to earn their energy credit unless their work was deemed of exceptional benefit to the state and would, therefore, warrant being paid more. On the other hand, one would be paid less if their work was not considered to be particularly valuable for some reason. Then there would be a ‘work review’ every few years to determine if an individual is worth more as a collection of body parts for harvest than if allowed to continue living. Unauthorized energy generation would be cause for arrest and summary execution. Every solar panel on every roof would belong to the state as would the power they generate. No one would have a personal vehicle any more and most forms of transportation, even bicycles, would be outlawed for personal use. Sure, I can see it now…California leading the way into a brave new world. /s


Henry chance
July 8, 2019 6:19 pm

I suggest telling the inhabitants of The Democratic People’s Republic of Berkeley that natural Gas is organic.

They pay a premium for organic products.

Gordon Dressler
July 9, 2019 1:37 pm

Gee, all those government-purchased, CNG-powered public transportation buses gonna be piled up on the trash heap of history due to shear ignorance about the main sources of methane.

“There are both natural and human sources of methane emissions. The main natural sources include wetlands, termites and the oceans. Natural sources create 36% of methane emissions. Human sources include landfills and livestock farming. But the most important source being the production, transportation and use of fossil fuels.” — ref: .

I’m very much interested in any plans to get rid of termites and landfills . . . not too sure about eliminating livestock farming because I happen to really like cheeseburgers.

Johann Wundersamer
July 11, 2019 3:14 pm

Due to the low population density, there are hardly any medical centers in north siberian. In addition, the younger population mostly emigrates for education and training to the larger cities. So “medical trains” regularly visit and drive through the region.

Johann Wundersamer
July 11, 2019 4:09 pm

“A 2017 study by the US Geological Services identified broken gas lines as a key risk factor during an earthquake. Much of the damage and loss of life after an earthquake is caused by fires from broken gas lines.”

There’s big money coming for Berkeley City Council and Councilmember Kate Harrison, when they sue and settle the earth quaker companies.

By the way Berkeley can bargain all the other earthquaking countries: new zealand with Christchurch, Indonesian, Iceland, Italian and the whole gang.

Johann Wundersamer
July 11, 2019 4:49 pm

the NG generation is backing up wind or solar electricity production for use in the cities instead of NG. So probably much more CO2 –

get used to Vancouver, BC backing up NG with DUNG burning for restaurants that use a gas range for cooking all their meals on. That would include ovens, such as pizza ovens.

When these commercial eatery’s make some complaints that this was completely unfair since foods cooked with an open flame by a chef are much more desired by canadian customers,

(not to mention more rustical ) it will be revealed that ‘renewable’ dung is the new local standard and sure will find its connoisseur with restaurants that use a gas range for cooking all their meals on. That would include ovens, such as pizza ovens. When these commercial eatery’s made some complaints that this was completely unfair since foods cooked with an open flame by a chef are much more desired by customers, (not to mention more economical) it was then revealed that ‘renewable’ dung soon will find its connoisseur circles.

The new parole is – tous de la vache – all from the cow –

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