A three-judge panel of the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco handed down a unanimous ruling on April 18, 2023, overturning a 2021 lower-court ruling banning natural gas in new construction.
Bracewell Policy Resolution Group Senior Principal Frank Maisano told The Washington Times that the Ninth Circuit ruling could impact natural gas policies across the country.
“Berkeley was the initial one. It was the cannon shot on the Lexington green for banning gas stoves, and four years later, with all of these states and cities doing things on both sides, the initial shot is now proven to be illegal,” Maisano said.
Berkeley was the first city in the US to ban natural gas lines in new construction. Its city council said the ban was necessary to support Berkeley’s goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. City restaurant owners argued that the ban unlawfully trounced federal energy policy and hurt their businesses.