State of Natural Gas in Washington
Cascade is committed to providing safe, reliable, and affordable energy for our communities in Washington. However, there are active efforts in our state to limit the use of natural gas for homes and businesses. Electrification proponents are using several strategies to move natural gas bans forward including:
- Code ordinances
- The State Building Code Council (SBCC) is attempting to enact changes to the State Energy Codes that would limit the use of natural gas space and water heating in commercial and residential construction. These rules are currently being delayed pending rulemaking to amend the codes for compliance with the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) and associated 9th Circuit Court ruling overturning a gas ban in Berkeley, CA, a process the SBCC initiated after we challenged the legality of the code in court. More information can be found at Washington State Building Code Legal Challenge.
- Electrification supporters continue to design legislation that would severely limit or eliminate the use of natural gas. Examples of previously proposed legislation include requirements for natural gas utilities to file plans to decommission portions of their natural gas pipeline and decrease natural gas service to Washingtonians. Other legislation would have allowed local jurisdictions to ban natural gas in new residential construction. These pieces of legislation failed to make it into law. However, it’s anticipated that electrification interests will continue to propose similar legislation in 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 efforts to restrict energy choice in Washington, you’re not alone. A Pew Research Center poll taken at the end of January 2022, found that most Americans would like the country to support a diverse mix of fuels to heat and power their homes.
Whether or not you support 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. Stay informed by logging into your Cascade Natural Gas online account and make sure you are opted-in to receive periodic Company & Industry News via email.
You can also get directly involved in preserving your energy choice through the NW Coalition for Energy Choice.
This web page was created at no cost to Cascade Natural Gas customers.