San Luis Obispo City Council votes to phase out natural gas

September 4, 2019

Mayor Heidi Harmon

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

The San Luis Obispo City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday night in favor of an ordinance and energy policy that would ban the fitting of new residential and commercial buildings with natural gas-powered appliances.

On Jan, 1, 2020, the ordinance, which will require new construction to have only electric power, will go into effect. The city has provided developers two alternatives, they can transition an existing gas powered building into electric only or pay in-lieu fees.

Councilwoman Erica Stewart cast the lone dissenting vote against the ordinance, saying the city should be using a carrot, rather than stick, approach in order to encourage the switch to electric-powered appliances. Stewart also argued for a city discount incentive for developers opting to build developments that use electrical appliances.

Mayor Heidi Harmon, who has spearheaded the effort to end the use of natural gas appliances, said the city needed to “act” immediately. Meanwhile, Harmon blamed the fossil fuel industry for exacerbating the “climate crisis.”

“We have very, very little time to make this transition,” Harmon said. “We just have to know that the reason we’re in such a bad position is because the fossil fuel industry has been intentionally misleading us for decades with a multimillion dollar climate denial extravaganza that has unfortunately been quite effective.”

Tuesday’s meeting drew numerous speakers for and against the city’s attempt to phase out the use of natural gas. Critics say phasing out gas appliances will eliminate jobs and increase the cost of housing in SLO, which is already becoming increasingly unaffordable to local families and workers.

“There is no bigger threat to housing affordability than climate crisis and extreme weather,” Harmon said in response to critics. “It is the major, major affordable housing crisis multiplier, especially here in the state of California as we have seen with recent fires, mudslides and et cetera.”

In the lead-up to Tuesday’s meeting, Harmon was promoting the city energy policy changes in a video that features a Los Angeles Times article on pollution associated with gas appliances. Harmon did not explain in the video that the article referred to improperly vented gas appliances, as opposed to all gas stove usage.

The ordinance and energy policy will return to the council at an upcoming meeting, after city staffers make clarifications to the proposed rules.


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cooperdog

Be assured that each time your mayor rails about plastic straws, gas appliances, the Paris Climate Accord, Amazon, or any other issue that has nothing to do with the reason she was elected, be assured that her city’s roads are clogged, her public schools failing, and the pension debt is skyrocketing – and she is clueless or indifferent about it.


There is the role of hypocrisy: progressive elites themselves never suffer the consequences of their own actions or inactions while the public never sees any benefit from their moral rhetoric. Naysayers are virtue-signaled away by these elites whose own power and money allow them to navigate around the consequences of their own liberal fantasies that fall on distant others.


tomsquawk

So it’s back to Gold Medallion Homes? That was a marketing ploy. I date myself.


cooperdog

I live in a Gold Medallion home. Converted heating, water heater, and kitchen range over to natural gas 25 years ago. Best move I ever made – the electricity costs of an all-electric home were staggering even back then.


brettmx

Believe me I know. I call it gold medallion home because it takes gold medallions to pay the electric bill. The new electric heating systems are better but even with new(er) energy start appliances and water heater the average bill is over $200 per month.


obispan

The new electric appliances still cost 5x as much as gas to operate and produce 2.5x to 3x the carbon emissions during peak hours. That’s a fact.


IronHub

Quite apart from the idiotic idea this is, consider the impact: It’s a predictable community-killer. Gas cooking is far, far superior to electric. So no decent chefs or cooks will move to SLO. Come to think of it, will anyone? Think with your stomachs, folks!


DocT

We’ve got to recycle to save the planet, they said.


We’ve got to stop recycling because China is no longer selling us space in their landfills for the “recycled” crap we send them, they said. ( they never mentioned that less than 9% of all total recycling material ever gets recycled or ever has gotten recycled and that 91%+ of it goes into landfills, either here or somewhere else. They never mentioned that recycling has always been a hoax.)


The planet is warming up we’ll all die, they said.

We’ll all die if we don’t address Climate Change, they re-said.


The only way we can save the planet is to reduce the local C02 emmisions by less than 1/2 of 1 percent, they said. (They didn’t say that those emissions would be produced at another location on the planet…..)


We’ve got to act, they said. We’ve got to restrict freedom and raise taxes if we’re going to save the planet, they said.

————————————————-


Those of us who do more than emotionally react to propaganda know that Global Warming is a hoax and that the McData used to support it is crap. Some of also know that we’re heading into a mini-iceage and that in 5 or 10 years we’ll all be talking about global cooling…..


and just how will we “fix” global cooling? Restriction of freedom and higher taxes, of course.


How much longer are people going to put up with this crap?


mercut1469

A “mini-ice age”? What have you scamps been listening to? Maybe Prager U and its right wing propaganda funded by fossil fuel billionaires and religious zealots? Or maybe you’ve been reading the rantings of Victor Davis Hanson, whom, I might add is not a scientist.


If we were entering an ice age the northern ice sheets would be growing. However, currently the Arctic permafrost is degrading. Arctic sea ice is melting and the Greenland ice sheet is losing mass at a dangerously accelerated rate. These are just not the conditions that would be the preliminaries for an impending ice age.


But don’t let me get in your way as you sink your head deeper into the sand.


DocT

For the record, I have never listened to either of the shows you mentioned, neither do I “follow” them.


The Northern Icesheet are not shrinking….that’s propaganda. Ditto the permafrost.


There are national parks in America that have glaciers. In these parks, the government quietly took down signs that said the glaciers would disappear by now and replaced them with signs that say they will disappear in the future, due to climate change. The actual glaciers themselves have GROWN in recent years! Look it up!


Then, there’s the sun. It’s the great big ball of fire THAT WARMS THE EARTH. It turns out that the sun is responsible for heating our planet. Scientists have figured this out.


Interestingly, scientists (not the idiots who sign on to Climate Change in order to get government grants, which will be refused to all climate-deniers) have been studying the sun and earths history over the last 2000 years, for which we have decent records:


They discovered that when sunspot activity is at a minimum, there is an ice-age. We’ve had several in the last 2000 years, as well as several warming periods. These are all correlated with sunspot activity.


We’re entering a minimum phase of the sun….which historically corresponds with long, cold winters, short summers and interestingly, increased volcanism. The brief warming period that Algore famously drew our attention to has been over for quite some time.


Now, we’re entering another cooling period…..just like has happened in the past and will happen again in the future.


Remember, Greenland was not named for its ice! Vikings used to farm there…..it was green, fertile land. Perhaps during the next major warm up we’ll have a couple hundred years to farm there again. But not in our lifetimes….it’s gonna get real cold and icy over the next 30-50 years.


Do some non-government propaganda reading. Search Maunder Minimum and Little Ice Age.


Mitch C

I hope this is a wake up call to all voters. The liberals are telling you how to live and if you want to live your own way without the government dictating to you can pay a fee (read tax). If you vote Democrat in the next election you are only emboldening them to further reach into the privacy of your life. This is what the Democrats want: bigger government, more control over your life and bigger taxes. Think about how wisely you use your vote.


Snoid

Brilliant move for the power company. Typical power bill in summer running the a/c every day and backed by solar is $40. Winter when aux electric heat is used here and there we see $190 give or take a few dollars. Whats that a 200% increase? And just how is climate change making housing more pricey? because your forcing people to install solar and electric appliances?

At least one of them has some decency to let the residents have a say in their misguided scam.


Mitch C

This obviously means fire places are out of the question. If you burn wood your are causing pollution and since gas is our that is the end of gas log fireplaces.


Humperdinck

BTW, just as I suspected there are zero plans to measure actual gas BTU/THERM reduction with help from SoGalGas meters. The only goals are to collect money for Work-Arounds and for SLO City notoriety.


Heidi said in the grandiose fashion “…we are the Pioneers of Possible…” and choked up crocodile tears when talking about her children’s future.


All the gas dept folks and common sense residents spoke about heat pumps having half the life span (because they do double duty), all electric houses costing more to heat and that natural gas burning will be displaced to another county to produce that electricity.. Previous to public comment, the city presenter eluding to the all-electric cost will be less, but only if you add 10 additional solar panels more than what the state already mandates to power the two new heat pumps.


Basically the SLO Council (except an impressive Stewart) blew off exploring any Assemby/Senate Bill Grants through the APCB or incentives from the electricity providers that get to sell more electricity. Instead they are going to stick it to the builders and add to home prices if gas is installed. A nonsensical statement Heidi made in a closing diatribe was “There is no bigger threat to housing affordability than climate crisis and extreme weather,” . It really showed her deflection from the facts that the SLO City Council is the one affecting affordability.


Essentially the SLO Council had made up their minds before the meeting and ran full speed ahead with scissors in order to chose Climate Change progressive notoriety for Heidi and the SLO Council over the energy affordability of SLO residents. Paraphrasing what Christianson said equates as Gas employees will retire or be retrained to new jobs over time. The rest of American now gets to shake their heads at what Buffoons this city has elected.


Just remember, you too can be the “Pioneers of Possible” if you have never worked a day in the energy industry and seek the admiration from Climate Change folks.


womanwhohasbeenthere

This has nothing to do with climate change and everything to do with Heidi and company getting kudos from various environmental groups. If they were really interested in “saving the earth,” they wouldn’t approve paving over prime farmland for 500 houses; they wouldn’t give you a pass to use that so-called irresponsible horrible polluting gas for $6700; they would electrify all city buildings first (lead by example). It’s sickening. But at least Heidi will have a nice plaque.


kayaknut

Everyone knew this would happen. Mayor Harmon owed it to the electric cooperative in exchange for their $upport of her campaign. Lets worry later about where and how all this electricity demand will come from.


sunister1

The lunatics are running the asylum.


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