The unholy crusade against gas appliances

Eco darling natural gas gives way to wind, solar and battery electricity – and slave labor

Duggan Flanakin

When Berkeley, California last year became the first U.S. city to ban the installation of natural gas lines to new homes, Mayor Jesse Arreguín proudly stated, “We are committed to the Paris Agreement and must take immediate action in order to reach our climate action goals. It’s not radical. It’s necessary.”

Phasing out natural gas-fired electric power generation by 2030 is bedrock dogma in the Green New Deal. In fact, it’s become an unholy crusade. So it should be no surprise that climate alarmists would jump at the chance to ban new natural gas lines. Many other cities in California have already followed Berkeley’s lead, as has Bellingham, Washington. More gas bans are in the offing nationwide. Connecticut lawmakers actually want a law that would pressure insurers to stop insuring homes that have gas appliances or heating systems!!

But Takoma Park, Maryland, which proudly bills itself as “the Berkeley of the East,” wants to go even further. City officials have proposed to ban “all gas appliances, close fossil fuel pipelines, and move gasoline stations that do not convert to electric charging stations outside city limits by 2045.” The Takoma Park proposal also mandates all-LED lighting by 2022 for all buildings, including single-family homes. Composting would also become mandatory.

For hardliners whose only focus is ridding the world of carbon (dioxide), the moves are obvious and necessary. With wind and solar prices dropping, they argue, natural gas is no longer needed as a “bridge fuel.” They envision an all-electric future, magically, right away, co-friendly, sustainable. Or not.

The price claim is nonsense. It’s based on comparing operating costs for wind and solar installations. It deliberately ignores the far larger capital investment and environmental costs: building thousands of wind turbines and millions of solar panels, hauling and installing them across millions of acres, connecting them to the grid, backing them up with batteries or pumped storage (or coal or gas power plants), replacing them far sooner and more often that we’d have to replace coal, gas or nuclear plants, and disposing of broken and worn out panels, blades and other parts that cannot be burned or recycled.

The phony price parity claim also ignores the massive amounts of overseas mining for metals and other materials, which are needed in far greater amounts per megawatt for wind, solar and battery power than for stand-alone gas, coal or nuclear plants. And that mining is done under horrific conditions, with little attention to air and water pollution, workplace health and safety, fair wages, or rampant child labor.

That’s reason enough to rise up in anger. But natural gas companies, gas appliance manufacturers, restaurants and ordinary citizens have additional reasons for not taking these radical demands lying down.

If implemented , the Takoma Park proposal would force those with gas stoves, hot water heaters, clothes dryers, furnaces, outdoor grills and propane heaters (for outdoor winter dining venues) to replace them with electric units. That could double electricity demand – and turbine and panel numbers and impacts.

Homeowners, landlords and businesses that currently rely on natural gas would have to upgrade their electrical systems to handle the additional load from going all-electric. Estimates run s high as $25,000 per resident (not household) to make the switch.

Last November The California Restaurant Association filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, claiming that Berkeley’s action violates “long-established state and federal law.” The CRA further claims the action is invalid and unenforceable under the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act and under California’s Energy Code and Building Standards Code, and that it is an unlawful to use police powers to amend state building codes.

A CRA press release further explained that the natural gas ban would force higher energy costs on businesses and consumers alike and, wurst of all, “effectively prohibit the preparation” of flame-seared meats, sausages and charred vegetables, and the use of intense heat from a flame under a wok (the essence of Chinese cooking). Top chef Robert W. Phillips explains: “An overwhelming majority of chefs and cooks are trained using natural gas stoves, with pots and pans over a flame produced by natural gas.”

SoCalGas, whose service area covers half the state, is also a strong opponent of building electrification.

Alarm over this fast-spreading virtue signaling has spread to Washington and Oregon, where the Seattle Times says gas companies are forming a coalition of unions, businesses and consumer groups to tout the benefits of natural gas and help “prevent or defeat” initiatives that would inhibit or prohibit its use.

Comparisons between electric and gas appliances show that gas appliances often cost more up front (especially if you have to run a gas line) but save money while in use. More important in many parts of the country is the fact that gas stoves can operate even when the electricity goes out – and a small generator will allow gas furnaces to continue operating during power outages. (Prolonged outages have become frequent in California of late, due to efforts to reduce catastrophic wildfires associated with power lines but caused by the state’s failure or refusal to thin and manage brush, grass and trees.)

Until now, people have been able to choose between electric and gas. One energy choice service notes that gas water heaters typically cost about $30 a month, while electric heaters cost $42 on average. Gas units also heat water more rapidly and provide hot water during power outages.

Gas dryers average about 8 cents less per load to run than electric units, partly because they heat up instantly, whereas electric units use a coil that can make loads take twice as long to dry. Electric dryers can also be harder on clothes because of their longer drying times. Electric dryers do not require a gas line, can be installed wherever there is a 220-volt power outlet, and do not require vents for carbon monoxide. On the other hand, an improperly grounded electric dryer can be dangerous.

Gas stoves provide instant heat for top burners, but gas ovens heat up more slowly, according to TopTenReviews. Gas stoves may be harder to clean, and there is a risk of fire from the open flame. Both gas and electric stovetop burners remain hot long after the knob is turned off. Most importantly, gas stoves are cheaper to operate, because gas prices have fallen some 85% since their historic high in 2006.

In sum, both gas and electric appliances have their pluses and minuses. However, “choice” (for women or men) is not high on the list for many virtue-signaling politicians today, except in one other acrimonious arena, which Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently addressed in the context of a pending Supreme Court case. They therefore push the envelope every time – and sometimes get their way. Yet in the process, they make new enemies of people who previously were not politically motivated at all.

In Takoma Park, which four decades ago became the nation’s first “nuclear-free city,” sustainability manager Gina Mathis says, “Yes there are ways that we could soften” these policies, “but we know that voluntary programs are not going to get us to net zero.” As in net-zero plant-fertilizing CO2 emissions.

The mandates tend to generate anger. According to the Washington Post, one Takoma Park resident complained that “the number of times the word ‘require’ is used in this [proposal] is stunning.”

It could get far worse. Socialist Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is committed to 100% “renewable” energy for electricity and transportation “by no later than 2030.” His plan would also take our entire energy system out of the private sector, and put it in government hands, with more mandates.

Meanwhile, China already has 900,000 MW of coal-fired power plants and has another 350,000 MW under construction or in planning. It’s also building or financing hundreds of coal and gas power plants in Africa and Asia. India likewise has hundreds of coal-fired units and is planning nearly 400 more. They will not stop using fossil fuels to build their economies, create jobs and improve living standards.

So even if manmade CO2 is a major factor in climate change, these scattered, silly natural gas bans might reduce future warming by 0.0001 to 0.001 degrees 80 years from now. But the con goes on.

Duggan Flanakin is director of policy research for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow ( and author of many articles on energy, climate change and environmentalism.

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not you
March 7, 2020 2:07 pm

“climate action” = pay 2-3x more for 1/2 as much

Reply to  not you
March 7, 2020 5:23 pm

If I were a blue collar worker or somebody who worked in manufacturing, I would be absolutely terrified of elected Democrats. Your livelihood is literally on the line now.

Reply to  Luke
March 8, 2020 7:07 am

It’s about time people wake up and PUSH back against the .005% LUNATIC FRINGE purporting to tell sane people how to live, with the excuse of a fictional “crisis.”

Patrick Healy
Reply to  Goldrider
March 9, 2020 10:29 am

You think you Americans have problems?
Over here in the Soviet republic of Britain , we thought we voted for a conservative government.
We elected a clown called Boris Johnston opposed by a raging communist (a Bernie Sanders clone) called Jeremy Corbyn.
We finished with Boris Corbyn.
All the nonsense proposed above, this idiot has actually put into law over here.
By 2035 all internal combustion engines will be banned. All gas appliances will be forbidden.
All power generation form grown up proven sources with be replaced by windmills, and as well as wasting trillions on a California type railway to nowhere, he will build a bridge to Ireland through a world war ordinance dump.
Finally he will not allow a new runway at Heathrow and will shut down all regional airports and ban all shipping which uses diesel.
Then all our caves will be full, but never mind – he has plans to replace the indigenous population with third world guests who are used to heating and cooking with sticks and dung.
What could go wrong?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  not you
March 7, 2020 8:26 pm

Not at all. Paying more for less has been going on since well before the “climate crisis”. Go to any supermarket in Australia today and you will see the prices are the same as they were last year, some move up some move down, but largely the same. When you look at the weight of the item you are buying it’s 10%, 20% or 30% less than it was before.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Patrick MJD
March 8, 2020 3:46 am

“Americans are getting stronger. Twenty years ago, it took two people to carry ten dollars’ worth of groceries. Today, a five-year-old can do it.”

– Henny Youngman

Mad Mac
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
March 8, 2020 6:49 am

When I was young I worked in a grocery store~50 years ago. One could fill up a paper bag of groceries for $5. Example-chicken was 15 cents per pound.

Richard Patton
Reply to  Mad Mac
March 8, 2020 8:36 am

I remember in the `60’s my mom buying 5 bags (paper which holds less) of groceries for $20 and I thought that was a lot of money. (they also thought $5.00 for a family of eight at a fast food joint was awfully expensive)

Reply to  Patrick MJD
March 8, 2020 8:25 am

Things aren’t getting more expensive. Your money is becoming less valuable.

not you
Reply to  MarkW
March 8, 2020 3:27 pm

this is the correct response to patrick mjd

my comment addressed ‘energy’, specifically electricity

Reply to  not you
March 10, 2020 12:00 am

Bellingham, Washington has not officially banned natural gas for construction, businesses, or appliances—but they have been considering it after their handpicked “Climate Action Task Force,” adopted it as part of the “fossil-free” planning for 2025 to 2030 and 0-fossils in 2035. Their aggressive standpoint has been met with a lot of backlash from the residents living there. Let’s pray that the very pro-Green New Deal Councilmembers will listen to the majority rather than the vocal minority.

March 7, 2020 2:11 pm

Well done, Duggan!

As a teammate of the writings of Duggan and Paul Driessen’s, I am thankful their intellectual firepower and breadth of their knowledge.

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” -Henry Ford

March 7, 2020 2:11 pm

I very much want a coal/wood stove and heat stove. I hear Boris’s Government is banning home use coal. With our climate mad Trudeau in temporary power I am worried about Canada freezing in the dark.

Reply to  sendergreen
March 7, 2020 5:04 pm

You need to become a “Rebel WITH a Cause,” sendergreen.

Buy that stove. Thumb your nose at the gubmint because if they win, it will be over your literally cold, dead body.

At the rate Oh Canada is going, you will be cold and dead under Sparkle Socks’ policies, so you might as well go for it.

On the bright side, you’d be warm in jail… maybe.

/barely hiding my disgust and extending my deepest sympathy for you
Why any Canadian would be against Global Warming is completely beyond my comprehension. Why? Why? Why would any Canadian be against a few degrees of extra warmth? The alternative is nuckin’ futz!

Reply to  H.R.
March 7, 2020 5:34 pm

I spent two winter months in Cheshire UK in 1986-’87. Whilst there, they had a “once in a century snow / ice storm”. There was 3-5 inches of snow and the area I was in ground to a halt for two days. Lots of people’s water heaters burst because it is the custom there to put them in the un-insulated attic (loft ? ). The lady I was billeted with had a coal fireplace. Never having seen coal used before I was amazed how much heat just two softball sized chunks of anthracite put out. I couldn’t sit closer than five feet from the grate.

Why Boris’s “Conservative” Majority Government would aim at banning home use, as a report I saw claimed is totally beyond me. Perhaps someone from “over there” could clarify the issue ?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  sendergreen
March 7, 2020 8:30 pm

A properly lit and roaring coal fire in a proper hearth and chimney is a thing to behold. A little while the whole house is warm through and, usually, stays warm over night.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
March 8, 2020 10:51 am

They want that warmth … GONE.

None of them have spent a week in Algonquin Park in a tent in nine inches of snow.

Russ Wood
Reply to  Patrick MJD
March 11, 2020 9:05 am

There’s a good reason that so many UK farms and older country houses have an ‘Aga’ coal stove in the kitchen. I’ve lived in lodgings with an Aga in the kitchen, which kept the whole lower floors of the house warm – as well as providing cooking heat! Mind you, the warmth didn’t extend to the attic, where I was billeted over the winter of 1962-62!

Reply to  Russ Wood
March 11, 2020 9:28 am

And is it true that Boris Johnson’s UK Government is proceeding to ban residential coal ?

Ron Long
Reply to  sendergreen
March 7, 2020 5:44 pm

Where are Bob and Doug McKenzie and their Coleman when you need them?

Tom Abbott
March 7, 2020 2:23 pm

Using natural gas in the home in water heaters and furnaces and stoves is even more efficient than using natural gas in a gas-fired powerplant.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 8, 2020 12:24 pm

Amen, Tom. A state-of-the-art combined cycle gas power plant has a maximum efficiency approaching 60%, which is a marvel compared to a steam-only powder plant. However, a modern condensing gas furnace is about 98% efficient. And I can argue that cooking with natural gas during heating season is 100% efficient since any heat that does not cook your food will heat your house.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  oeman50
March 8, 2020 2:14 pm

Yeah, if these fools really wanted to lower CO2 output, they would be mandating that everyone substitutie natural gas for electricity in homes and businesses where at all possible. They should be expanding the use of natural gas in the home instead of prohibiting it. They are doing just the opposite of what they should be doing.

March 7, 2020 2:25 pm

When these environmentalists show Americans that the “green new deal” electricity is affordable, then lets take another look. Green New Deal Germany pays 3 times for electricity as California pays, and California’s electricity is so expensive because the “wise people” in Sacramento have been spending all the states money on green new deal electricity production. And when the solar and wind can’t keep up, they have to buy coal or natural gas produced electricity from out of state. Who is the idiot?

Chris Hoff
March 7, 2020 2:48 pm

Here in Vancouver, I just finished upgrading my gas fired hot water heating system. Now the idiot greens who run the city and province want to force everybody to go electric. Even if it’s just the heater elements for the hot water heating system it’s idiocy when gas is so much cheaper than electric. You can see how once they force everyone to convert and there’s no going back they’re going to jack up the price of electricity.

Reply to  Chris Hoff
March 7, 2020 3:12 pm

Even sillier is what happens in the US when people in Vancouver use more electricity instead of gas. (Stick with me this will all make sense shortly).

BC Hydro as the name suggests, 100% hydro. IE no CO2. So what happens to the excess electricity that they generate? Why they sell it if course, into the United States. And what do they displace in the US when they do that? Well it depends on the customer, but Washington State for example is about 1/4 coal and natural gas. Being a very anti-coal state , the most logical thing for them to do is displace some coal generation with BC’s hydro generation.

Every Kwh of power diverted from gas to electric in BC means a Kwh of power diverted to coal somewhere else. The net is more CO2 in the world, not less.

Richard Patton
Reply to  davidmhoffer
March 7, 2020 6:13 pm

According to the ‘watermellons’ hydro is not a renewalable energy source.

Al Miller
Reply to  Richard Patton
March 8, 2020 8:53 am

Exactly Richard. You have to be a fool to fall for the idiocy of the watermelons and not see through the idea that if nuclear and hydro don’t fit the agenda they’re not “green”. How shallow and pathetic is that? Yet here we are having to fight this lunacy. IT”S NOT ABOUT CO2-IT”S ALL POWER and MONEY.

John Bell
Reply to  Chris Hoff
March 7, 2020 3:44 pm

Electric run by what, PV panels and wind? Are they installed yet? It will never work, too cloudy there.

Reply to  Chris Hoff
March 7, 2020 6:53 pm

Vancouver – 4 years ago, I had an electric air-source heat pump installed in my house, mainly to be used as a/c unit to cool down the house in the summer. To lower my NG consumption and emissions, I started using the heat pump to heat the house in the fall, part of winter and spring, using the NG furnace as a backup when temps dropped too low.

Heat from the heat pump is somewhat “less dense” – feels weaker than what NG produces (naturally), but one can get used to it. The pump’s constant whirring you can get used to it as well.

What killed the heating part for me was the fact that, in this virtue-signalling lefty province and City, nobody would give you a break on electricity prices – i.e. giving you a preferred rate for power (Called Step1 Usage here). Step 1 is arbitrarily set by BC Hydro and is just about enough to cover the lights, fridges, washers and such. Once the allocated kWhs are spent, you are moved to Step2 with much higher price per kWh. Heat pump running in colder months was using a lot of Step2-priced power and my heating costs doubled compared to gas-heating costs.

So, I turned the pump off and will be using the gas furnace to heat the house and use the heat pump just as a/c in the summer. Last summer we barely had to use a/c in the house, was rather cold due to the “unprecedented global warming”, I guess…

March 7, 2020 2:59 pm

Use ga in electric generators and disrtribute electricity as energy source. Don’t holl back your engineers.

Reply to  Arno Arrak
March 7, 2020 5:36 pm

Who’s holding back anybody?
Burning nat gas to generate electricity, shipping that electricity hundreds of miles, then using it to generate heat is way less efficient then using the nat gas to generate heat in the first place.

Richard Patton
Reply to  MarkW
March 7, 2020 6:16 pm

There is the 20-30% loss of energy in generating and transmitting the electricity. Much lower energy ‘loss’ sending it directly to the end user.

Amos E. Stone
Reply to  Richard Patton
March 8, 2020 6:59 am

Richard – it’s worse than that. The very best gas generators are only 60% efficient running flat out. Ramping up and down chasing demand alone will bring that down. Having to ramp faster and more often to accommodate variable wind and solar in the mix just makes the efficiency worse still. And then you have transmission losses getting the electricity to the consumer.

Compared with 85%+ efficiency for a home boiler/furnace heating the home with gas directly. There is, to be fair, some use of energy to pump the gas toward the consumer. I read that that equates to about half the transmission losses of electricity per kWh delivered, but can’t find the ref. Anyone know?

That’s engineering – as Mark implies, any engineer (eg me) would be very happy using gas for heat, even if it weren’t a third of the price of electricity (UK). Not feeling held back at all!

Richard Patton
Reply to  Amos E. Stone
March 8, 2020 8:43 am

Thanks for the info. I was being very generous to the opposition. My furnace is 95% efficient and it isn’t efficient enough to get an energy star rebate. (Can you believe that?) So going by your figures an electric furnace is actually only about 50-60% efficient. They should be banned!!! (LOL)

March 7, 2020 3:04 pm

“Gas units… provide hot water during power outages.”

Not necessarily true. If the gas unit uses a pilot light, sure. But, if it uses an electric heating element (as mine does) to ignite the gas, then you’re S.O.L. for hot water when the electric goes out.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  SMC
March 7, 2020 6:35 pm

A couple of years ago we had a five day power outage after a tornado. The Gas water heater kept going the entire five days.

Steve Case
March 7, 2020 3:09 pm

Depressing posts here at WattsUpWithThat occur with increasing frequency.

old engineer
Reply to  Steve Case
March 7, 2020 5:11 pm

Steve Case-

That’s because the war has been lost. If Trump wins another 4 years, the worst actions will be postponed. But by 2030 we will only be able to watch the lemmings leap off the cliff. Unfortunately we too will affected by their actions. I have little faith that the U,S, will come to it’s senses. Look for the ascendency of China and India in the next 10 years and the decline of Europe, the U.S., and the rest of British commonwealth.

Richard Patton
Reply to  old engineer
March 7, 2020 6:17 pm

Don’t worry about China. It is a Ponzi scheme ready to fall.

Reply to  Richard Patton
March 8, 2020 8:28 am

Afghanistan and then Chernobyl, discredited the government in the eyes of the populace.
I suspect the aftermath of Covid-19 is going to badly discredit China’s government in the eyes of it’s people.

March 7, 2020 3:16 pm

California could go the way of the East Coast. Take a look at PADD 1 and tell me when the Philadelphia refinery blew up.

All California needs to do is have a couple of refineries blow up and they can be well on their way to a fossil free utopia.

March 7, 2020 3:26 pm

“We are committed to the Paris Agreement and must take immediate action in order to reach our climate action goals. It’s not radical. It’s necessary.”

Now, that’s the same Paris Accords which China, India, and the third world are taking advantage of to massively increase their CO2 emissions?

March 7, 2020 3:30 pm

I argued back and forth with a Bellingham City Councilman for awhile just for kicks. I read the meeting notes from the task force that looked into the viability of essentially outlawing gas and it was based entirely on best case estimates for their plan to work out. They believe that Washington state will be 100% renewable by 2045 (yeah, right), that batteries will make up for the times that the wind doesn’t blow and the sun isn’t shining (uh huh…) and that costs for electricity will stay the same or go lower, despite the fact that California, German and South Australia are all proof that isn’t going to happen.

The funny part is that nowhere in the proposal did the City Council mention how much warming will be alleviated by their actions, something you’d have thought would be there. Using Bjorn Lomborg’s estimate for how much CO2 emissions will be lowered due to the Paris Accord I calculated that Bellingham’s contribution to decreasing warming will be 0.0000012 degrees Celsius… even if 100,000 cities the size of Bellingham adopted similar rules the effect wouldn’t be measurable.

These people are certifiable, there’s no reasoning with them. As Thomas Sowell said “It is usually futile to talk facts and analysis to people who are enjoying a sense of moral superiority in their ignorance”.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Bob Johnston
March 8, 2020 12:32 pm

And of course they always forget to include the costs of massively expanding the electric grid. It took 30 years here in Minnesota to get a single new HV line up and running because of all the lawsuits and NIMBYism. Now imagine needing to build hundreds of them. Won’t happen. Hope these people like their rolling blackouts, because that’s what’s coming if they continue on this insane course of action.

Duggan Flanakin
Reply to  Bob Johnston
March 9, 2020 11:49 am

Except that the psychiatrists who might certify them are off the Reservation too.

March 7, 2020 3:44 pm

The good news is that I can take a crappy house built in the 1950s and insulate it such that it is almost doesn’t need a furnace. The bad news is that it would probably be cheaper to tear down the house and start fresh. link

One of my friends has a wonderful old house in the Netherlands. To insulate the house enough so he can afford electric heat means making the walls a foot thicker. He can’t do that on the outside because of the historical value of the house. So, the extra insulation goes on the inside. Rooms that were formerly tiny will become useless so it will probably be necessary to rejig the floor plan.

Reply to  commieBob
March 7, 2020 4:00 pm

What all this all really means is real serious Energy Poverty for a third, or more of the populations of the once advanced, once free Western world. For the aged of that world it will be deadly Energy Poverty.

John Robertson
March 7, 2020 3:53 pm

Banishment Works.
What these swelled heads are saying,is that the current infrastructure is no good,our current technologies are no good and nobody but them knows the true way forward,to the glorious future where their wonderous virtue will be appreciated by all.
Well they have self identified,they and their ilk have run for positions of authority and now have the (temporary) power.
So now their malice is naked for all to see,ban them from the society they so openly despise.
Tarring and Feathering people who abuse your hospitality and pee in your reserves is not an antisocial act at all.
The preservation of civil society requires that such ungrateful freeloaders be sent out to work their wonders,free of the limitations imposed by practical people.

As many have noticed,the Cult of Calamitous Climate members are notable by their lack of any useful skills.
They shriek loudly and insist they must rule,yet have been of zero benefit to any society they have successfully overrun.

Now the sheer ignorance of burning fuel to produce electric heat is pitiful and painful..
Like I say they self identify.
I am more than happy to allow them to demonstrate the life style they demand we embrace.
We need an Island.
For them.

March 7, 2020 4:44 pm

> “gas prices have fallen some 85% since their historic high in 2006.”

Unless you are in Soviet Kaliforinia where we pay as if our state regulated suppliers were paying 2006 prices.

March 7, 2020 4:52 pm

In New Zealand our coalition government with the Greens has banned new exploration for oil and gas despite the fact that our known and probable gas reserves will only last another 8 years or so at current usage rates. Of course, to find the gas, drill more wells, and get them into production takes several years so by the time we start running out it will be too late to do anything about it. Meanwhile, hospitals, dairy companies, commercial buildings and industry have started converting to electric heating so the load on our already stretched power stations is starting to go up. Our largest thermal station at Huntly has 50% of its output able to be generated by dual fuel coal/gas units so they are busy stockpiling and burning coal. Our climate change warriors haven’t cottoned on to this yet and are still actively trying to disrupt the gas exploration that was under way before the ban. New Zealand’s CO2 emissions are 0.17% of global emissions so the effect of the ban will be ruinous for our country but will have negligible effect on global temperatures.

Reply to  ScottR
March 7, 2020 5:19 pm

Don’t worry, New Zealand will never run out of oil and gas. The people who finance the greens to be against exploration are more than ready, willing, and able to supply all your needs, at a price though. Same situation Canada is presently in.

March 7, 2020 4:55 pm

“Mayor Jesse Arreguín proudly stated, “We are committed to the Paris Agreement”

Is Berkeley a member of the United Nations? And a signatory to the UNFCCC? such that it is a “Party” to this agreement that attends Conferences of Parties?

Did Berkeley participate in the Paris COP in 2015? Did Berkeley submit an INDC? What is Berkeley’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution? Duh!

Reply to  Chaamjamal
March 8, 2020 10:05 am

That’s the League of Cities gambit, a throwback to the city states of feudal Europe.
Bloomberg money for example from fund “American Cities Climate Challenge”.
You see, as in feudal times, those deplorables outside the sceptered cities are, well, just not smart enough to understand Sir mini-Mike Bloomberg and his wannabee running mate Hillary!

March 7, 2020 5:04 pm

I still use incandescent light bulbs throughout my home. They do give off waste heat, which is what I want considering that I heat my home 8 months of the year. Two electricians have confirmed that a watt of heat is a watt of heat, one 1500 watt baseboard heater, or fifteen 100 watt light bulbs, same difference. The other 4 months of the year? The sun doesn’t go down long enough to use the lights…..

Reply to  Davis
March 7, 2020 5:56 pm

Electric heat costs a few times as much as gas heat does, about 1.5-2 times as much as oil heat does, at least in most of the US. Electricity from fossil fuels has typical combined generation, transmission and distribution efficiency around 35-40 %.

Reply to  Davis
March 8, 2020 8:31 am

Resistance heating is the most expensive and least efficient form of heating.
Better to use more efficient lights and run your more efficient heat sources more.

Jack Roth
Reply to  MarkW
March 9, 2020 5:56 pm

I moved from Maryland to Alaska. In Maryland I was using electric heat pump, which came with the house. In Alaska I had the house built from scratch, and chose oil furnace. My cost in Maryland, where temperatures averaged in the 40s in the winter, was over $400 per month in electricity for heating. I was constantly cold in Maryland, where the heat pump would have to switch to emergency coil to bring temps inside the house above 63 degrees during an average mid-Atlantic winter.
My cost for heating in Alaska is less than $100 per month. The house is so well insulated in Alaska that I keep my furnace temperature at around 55 degrees. Running the fireplace will give me another 20 degrees of heat for about $300 per winter if/when needed along with the beautiful ambiance of a gorgeous stone fireplace, while I watch snow squalls make their way across the bay and onto the glaciers, from my 2-story high bay windows. I do not miss Maryland, heat pumps, or electric heat, not even a little bit

Keith Minto
March 7, 2020 5:30 pm

Must be some strange central lefty philosophy as Canberra’s new suburbs are being built without natural gas connection.
I like the diversity of gas/wood heater/electricity.

Dr. Bob
March 7, 2020 5:40 pm

All you have to do is “Mandate” that all Solar and Wind energy projects practice what they preach and use on renewable energy in all steps of manufacture and instillation of the facility. It is only logical that no fossil energy be used to produce renewable energy. Same goes for Corn Ethanol. All electric tractors and trucks for planting, harvesting and converting corn into fuel. If that cannot be done, then the whole thing is a scam.
Which it is!
Just imagine it, an electrically heated cement plant to produce “Renewable Cement”. An electrically heated steel smelter. CO2 derived plastics and resins for the turbine blades. The list goes on and on.

March 7, 2020 5:52 pm

Using an electric stove, dryer or water heater instead of a natural gas one is a bad idea before there is enough non-fissil-fuel electricity for all electricity demand. Adding an electrical load while some of the electricity demand is met by fossil fuels will increase the demand for fossil fuel electricity, with typical combined generation, transmission and distribution efficiency around 35-40 %. Forcing people to use electricity in place of natural gas will increase burning of natural gas in the name of decreasing it.

Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
March 8, 2020 8:33 am

Newer heaters and hot water heaters are 85+% efficient. The best nat gas power plants are around 60% efficient, and that’s before transmission losses.

March 7, 2020 6:04 pm

Let’s see what happens when home owners are forced to go all electric ….. home and car. Remember the “all electric home” fad in the 1960’s? They turned out to be white elephants due to the high cost of electricity and replacement cost of the replacement appliances. This is a virtue signaling fad that will fade when reality sets in.

Richard Patton
March 7, 2020 6:08 pm

Besides using a gas that would just be flared off as waste (still putting the CO2 in the atmosphere), I save $125 per MONTH by using natural gas instead of electricity. Since I had a gas furnace and water heater installed over ten years ago, the cost of natural gas has gone down and down. Cost per therm (100,000 BTU) of natural gas has dropped 14% in the ten years, while the cost of electricity has risen 72%. My combined energy bill is LOWER than just my electric bill was before switching to natural gas.

Being on a fixed income that $125 difference is two weeks worth of groceries. The greens motto appears to be “save the planet starve a senior citizen.” Oh wait! They want 7.8billion people to die off, 200 million is supposedly all the humans the planet can support.

Reply to  Richard Patton
March 7, 2020 6:44 pm

I think the figure in Canada is that people use 80% + of their lifetime health care $$$ in the last two years of their lives. A bean counter might figure out that if a lot of elderly people expired naturally (assisted by a wee bit of hypothermia) the State might fare better in it’s fiscal position. Bonus is … Old people don’t generally vote for progressive ideas. They’ve seen them fail before.

john york
March 7, 2020 8:25 pm

“(Prolonged outages have become frequent in California of late, due to efforts to reduce catastrophic wildfires associated with power lines but caused by the state’s failure or refusal to thin and manage brush, grass and trees.)”

Not to mention CA state, counties, and cities demanding the utilities sink millions of dollars into “renewables” instead of upgrading lines and other infrastructure.

March 7, 2020 8:52 pm

If the natural cycles scientists are correct we will see just how “serious” they are as the temperatures drop. My guess is a pair of cold winters with prices to heat their homes doubling or tripling they will quit. If not then they can freeze or pay through the nose.

Rod Evans
March 7, 2020 10:02 pm

The proponents of these insane energy policies must know the only possible outcome of their efforts will be civil war. I do not use that term lightly.
The people will rise up. There will be armed conflict in civil society as the political elite attempt to force the limited resources of the people, to be deployed in ways that the people can not afford. The end result will be civil disobedience. If the elite continue to press on denying the basic survival needs of individuals then conflict will happen. There will be no choice. The people will be literally dying, from the policies being progressed by green fixated establishment figures. The people will consider their options. Either go along with unaffordable, unreliable life destroying political decisions, or rise up and say no.
No man will stand by. as his family is being starved and frozen to death due entirely to green political dogma.
The second amendment was not put in place by accident, or because the founding fathers of an American free society, thought they might need arms to repel a foreign invader. It was put in place to safeguard the needs of the citizens against the excesses of over arching authority.

March 8, 2020 4:27 am

Every time you convert energy there is loss. That mean gas appliances will always be more efficient than electric appliances. While electric has made a lot of progress with efficiency, with combined cycles which use combustion turbine waste heat to generate more power with the steam produced, they are still less efficient than burning the gas yourself.

Coach Springer
March 8, 2020 7:11 am

So, no back-up generators for homes or municipalities either. I shudder to think how much I have saved over my 68 year lifetime by never heating a home with electric. But they can have my gas grill tongs when they pry them out of my cold, dead hands.

Again, mandates and prohibitions aren’t necessary for superior technology. The End.

Crispin in Waterloo
March 8, 2020 8:05 am

The World Bank administered Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP – see their website) has instituted a Clean Cooking Fund in the amount of $500 million with the intention, in part, of getting millions of people to switch from biomass to gas products.

So the low income countries get to have gas cooking just as the Americans lose it.

Incidentally, for clothes drying, it is quite possible to use a heat pump instead of resistive elements to provide the elevated temperatures needed to dry clothes. It would cut the electricity consumption by a factor of 3 to 10 depending on the weather at the time.

In Southern Africa heat pump water heaters are saving a great deal of energy with a reduction factor of 2.5-4 being typical.

Al Miller
March 8, 2020 8:59 am

The only thing that could be good from this utter stupidity is if one of these small areas goes full stupid so that the rest of the world can watch the disaster unfold and depending where you live it won’t take long. I’m in Canada and it would be beyond insanity to enact such stupidity here unless you actually mean to freeze your citizens to death. When it finally gets to life or death from freezing then there will be bloody uprising of common sense.

Derek Colman
March 8, 2020 6:06 pm

It’s even worse in the UK. The government proposes to ban new installations of gas fired home heating boilers from 2025. Currently electricity costs 3 times as much per kW/h as gas. Because electricity prices keep rising sharply as more renewable energy comes on line, by 2025 it’s likely to be 4 times as much. So an annual cost of £800 for home heating will rise to £3,200 in 2025. The government has also been conned into believing that air source heat pumps could replace gas boilers. That is simply not true because they do not work in the UK’s cold and damp winter climate due to frosting up of their heat exchangers. Below freezing they fail entirely. In new houses already built with these devices, residents have been faced with £3,000 a year electricity bills because these units switch to an electric backup when they fail.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Derek Colman
March 8, 2020 7:57 pm

Derek, I’d like to track something on lie about that failure and direct energy backup, if you could please post a link to any relevant story in a local paper or protest site.

Heap pumps are being touted as the universal solution to air quality and energy shortages where resistive heating is common, which is to say, central Asia. What is the MTBF of these UK installations?

Jack Roth
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
March 9, 2020 6:09 pm

Well I can tell you that my experience with heat pumps is that it has a MTBF of about 6-10 years. The compressor and the exchange coils are the parts that can and do fail and essentially require a full replacement of the entire system. Compressors are only warrantied for a year. Exchange coils will corrode and fail within a decade. The biggest issue is that heat pumps can only handle 20 degrees or so of temperature difference between indoor and outdoor, without having to depend on a massive resistor for backup heat. And below freezing they also need a defrost cycle for the outdoor compressor. Finally the switch to non-CFC coolants has meant units that now run almost non-stop, due to the lower efficiency of the non-CFC coolant

James F. Evans
March 8, 2020 9:40 pm

Use of natural gas lowers carbon dioxide compared with almost all other energy sources.

That gives away the game —

It’s about power & control.

The rest of it is just fig leafs.

John A Klug
March 8, 2020 10:18 pm

I have an induction range, and I like it much better than my old gas range. It doesn’t have as much waste heat getting my hands hot when I fry, and the air is much cooler.

Everyone I know with electric heat around here uses geothermal heat pumps, but I don’t know anyone who has gas service who does this. I think the drawback is the pipes in the ground only last about twenty years, and it is expensive to maintain. Will green virtue signalling cities ever have community geothermal wells?

shortus cynicus
March 9, 2020 12:12 am

Fascism in it’s finest form: superior overlord race in ‘government’ deciding what subhumans must do, or else….

March 9, 2020 6:06 am

Benjamin Thompson was born in Woburn, Massachusetts in 1753 & because he was a Loyalist, he left (abruptly) for Britain in 1776. He spent much of his life as an employee of the Bavarian government where he received his title, “Count of the Holy Roman Empire.” Rumford is known primarily for the work he did on the nature of heat.

Back in England, Rumford applied his knowledge of heat to the improvement of fireplaces. He made them smaller and shallower with widely angled covings so they would radiate better. And he streamlined the throat, or in his words “rounded off the breast” so as to “remove those local hindrances which forcibly prevent the smoke from following its natural tendency to go up the chimney…”

With a little effort & adequate research, it’s possible for homeowners to build their own Rumford fireplaces. We constructed two Rumfords 8 years ago, following the guidelines provided by Jim Buckley at Buckley Rumford Co., 1035 Monroe Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368.

The outdoor Rumford is the essential component of our summer kitchen as it extends the BBQ season to 12 months. The indoor Rumford enables us to run our gas fired central heating at its lowest setting. However, our house is much better insulated than most British homes!!

IMO, a Rumford wood burning open fireplace is a better proposition than a closed stove, because it burns brightly & radiates tremendous heat. Any volatile gases from freshly added fuel are burned within the firebox rather than passing up the chimney as smoke. Burning coal or smokeless fuels requires a grate; logs stacked vertically do not. Construct a Rumford, you know it makes sense. Pallets are grate (sic) fuel.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Perry
March 9, 2020 10:03 am


It is interesting that virtually all new high performance high mass (retained heat) masonry heaters have no grate, even when burning wet wood.

In the past 20 years there have been many advances on wood-fired heating systems that involve no automatic controls. Single bell and double bell heaters are amazing. There is a Masonry Heaters Association in North America – see their website.

A typical installation has a staged air supply and a flat base interior made from insulative bricks. Any of the modern ones are extremely clean-burning, producing lower PM emissions than is required by the EPA’s updated NSPS regulations (from May 2020).

Steve Z
March 9, 2020 9:08 am

I have a little quibble with this statement: ” Both gas and electric stovetop burners remain hot long after the knob is turned off”. Electric burners on a stove remain hot much longer after the power is turned off than a gas burner. If a pot of water starts boiling so fast that the froth level rises on a gas stove, turning off the gas can usually prevent any froth from overflowing, while with an electric burner, the cook must move the pot off the burner to prevent overflow.

The (metal) gas burner may remain hot, but since the cooking utensil is not in direct contact with the burner, there is little heat transfer once the flame is out. On an electric stove, the cooking utensil is in direct contact with the heated coil, which remains hot for a few minutes after the power is turned off.

The main problem with cities trying to ban gas pipelines (even small ones to individual homes) is that it’s self-defeating from an emissions point of view. A home that is supplied with natural gas will probably use between 50% and 80% of the total natural gas usage on heating the home during the cold season (depending on the outdoor climate, natural gas bills are 2 or 3 times higher in winter than in summer), and relatively little on cooking, water heating, or clothes drying.

A well-maintained natural gas furnace can transfer 85 to 90% of the heat of combustion of natural gas to the air in the home. If there are no gas supply lines to the home, an oil-burning furnace is slightly less efficient (80 to 85%), but emits nearly twice the CO2 for the same heat of combustion. If a natural-gas furnace is replaced by electric baseboard heating, the heating elements themselves are nearly 100% efficient, but the process of generating the electric power is less efficient (about 60 to 65% for combined-cycle natural gas, 30 to 35% for a coal-fired power plant).

The net effect of banning natural gas service to homes, where the lion’s share is consumed by heating the home, is to generate MORE CO2 emissions and transfer them from the home’s chimney to a power plant, likely less than 100 miles away. But CO2, once it gets into the air, tends to diffuse everywhere (unless it is absorbed by trees or other green plants), so that banning natural gas service to homes will INCREASE the total CO2 emissions to the air.

For both carbon dioxide and real pollutants (SO2, particulates, NOx, etc), natural gas is by far the cleanest of the fossil fuels, so we should use it as long as there is a reliable supply available. If the greenies in Berserkley and Takoma Park really want to decrease emissions from homes heated by natural gas (or any other means), maybe they can offer property-tax reductions for homeowners who install double-pane windows and weather-stripping around their doors, which is where most of the heat is lost during cold weather.

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