A Trump-appointed federal judge has overturned the City of Berkeley, California’s ban on the natural gas that powers ovens, furnaces, and more. The ban was part of a local ordinance that the city, often referred to as the People’s Republic of Berkeley because of its far-left politics, passed with the aim of stamping out gas appliances, a pet issue recently picked up by the left, including the Biden Administration.
Berkeley attempted to ban natural gas appliances by banning the construction of natural gas supply systems in general, barring the construction of supply lines to newly-constructed buildings while working to phase out the supply of natural gas to already-existing buildings as well. Trump-appointed federal appeals court Judge Patrick Bumatay wrote in his opinion, striking down the ban, that the City of Berkeley had overstepped its bounds by attempting a broadly-sweeping natural gas ban.
Though concerningly, Judge Bumatay appeared to concede in the opinion that Berkeley can in fact “directly ban” gas stoves and appliances, as long as they don’t ban the entire natural gas sector.
“Instead of directly banning those appliances in new buildings, Berkeley took a more circuitous route to the same result,” Bumatay wrote in his opinion. “It enacted a building code that prohibits natural gas piping into those buildings, rendering the gas appliances useless.”
“In sum, Berkeley can’t bypass preemption by banning natural gas piping within buildings rather than banning natural gas products themselves,” the opinion reads.
Much like the left-wing City of Berkeley, the Biden Administration and Democrats in Washington are working to ban gas appliances all over the United States, part of a wider series of attacks on the natural gas industry, an industry that, along with oil, offers the United States the capability to be totally energy independent considering the country’s massive natural fuel resources.