State of Natural Gas in Washington
Electrification proponents are using several strategies to move natural gas bans forward including:
- Code ordinances
- Proposals are being placed before the State Building Code Council (SBCC) to ban natural gas space and water heating in new commercial construction.
- Electrification supporters have been attempting to pass legislation that would require natural gas utilities to file plans with the Utilities and Transportation Commission on how to decommission portions of the natural gas pipeline and decrease natural gas service to Washingtonians. Other legislation has been proposed that would allow local natural gas bans to new residential construction through a “reach code,” or empower municipal utilities to offer financial incentives to natural gas customers to switch to electricity. These bills failed to make it into law. However, it’s anticipated that new bills of this nature will continue to be offered by electrification interests during future legislative sessions.
- Local bans
- Electrification interests have coordinated with local governments and municipalities to encourage restrictions, or outright bans, to the use of natural gas. In Washington state, local restrictions have already taken effect in cities including Bellingham, and Seattle.
If you have concerns about policies that restrict energy choice, here’s what you can do:
You’re not alone. A Pew Research Center poll from the end of January 2022, found that most Americans would like the country to keep a mix of fossil fuels and renewable energy to heat and power their homes.
Whether for or against continued energy choice and the use of natural gas as a decarbonization solution, it’s important that all voices are heard regarding our state’s energy future.
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