Lawsuit challenges city’s right to ban natural gas appliances

November 26, 2019

By KAREN VELIE

A mere six weeks after the Berkeley City Council voted to ban natural gas appliances in new construction, the San Luis Obispo City Council followed suit. And now Berkeley is battling a lawsuit, and SLO could be next.

Last summer, noting plans to fight global warming, the Berkeley and SLO city councils voted for bans to begin in Jan. 2020. While some environmentalists touted the move as an important part of lowering carbon emission levels, opponents argued it would do little to change emission levels, while raising the cost of living in SLO.

In its lawsuit filed last Thursday in federal court, the California Restaurant Association argues the ban will damage the ability of international restaurants, which are prized in the Bay Area, to produce many of their favorite dishes.

The lawsuit also argues the Berkeley ordinance bypassed state and federal laws including the U.S. Energy Policy and Conservation Act.

Two months ago, attorney Saro Rizzo sent SLO a letter  in which he pointed out the errors in its ordinance, which he said would have a problem winning a legal challenge.

In late September, SLO City officials suspended the plan to phase out the use of natural gas appliances while they look into allegations Councilwoman Andy Pease violated conflict of interest rules by voting on the ordinance. Pease is a partner in Balance Green Consulting, a company in line to financially benefit from the city’s proposed energy policy.

In response to Rizzo’s letter, city administrators decided to revamp their ordinance. If the second draft is anything like the first, a group of businessmen and union workers plan on lodging a lawsuit against the city, Keith Gurnee said.


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Humperdinck

It makes zero sense to displace burning natural gas to another county to produce electricity. I-squared-R losses on power lines, lost efficiencies on combustion cycles, and excluding one source of energy to your home top the list of reasons. While SLO cuts back on burning natural gas, CalFire will be doing prescriptive burns with a vengeance next year. My neighbors were busy covering up their burn piles yesterday with tarps. As soon as the rain passes and they pay their $50 permit fee to CalFire, there will be backyard burning all over SLO county.

Heidi and council have been “group think” and fooled that CO2 traps and raises earth’s temperature. What will they do when group think finally realizes that cosmic forces of orbit, solar flares and magnetic pole movement are really the culprits that makes earth surface temperature rise? The climate fanatic always quickly discount cosmic forces with beliefs, not facts. Facts would need a controlled experiment where factors are eliminated one-by-one which you can’t do with cosmic forces. As temperature rises, carbon is liberated molecularity, which has been quantified. It’s not the other way around where carbon raises temperature. But, then if that nasty little truth were the case they’d have no basis for carbon taxes, gas taxes, and clean energy incentives. Remember this group think is all predicated on carbon, so it can be taxed and politicians can steer the economy to benefit their cronies that exploit clean energy programs.


DocT

SLO city should take all that taxpayer money and hire a team of very expensive lawyers and fight for their right to ban gas appliances, despite it going against the wishes of the people!


If they don’t fight firmly and decisively against their own citizens they’ll appear weak and will be targets for bullying by the gas-appliance industry.


As for Andy Pease’s conflict of interest, she should not be discriminated against just because her company and SLO seem to be on the same political track and that will benefit her financially. She should be able to loot, pillage, cheat and scam as much as she wants.


Finally, the people of SLO should not be trusted or listened to! They only want to pollute, waste resources and warm up the planet so that we all die. It’s up to brave leaders like Heidi, Andy and others to go firmly against the will of the people. If they are prevented from forcing this policy on us, the entire city will no doubt be destroyed by flooding and fire.


That’s because the planet will be furious at the citizens of SLO and the weakness of the council who didn’t fight against the will of the people hard enough to dictate their earth friendly policies.


This is one of those situations where elected officials must firmly NOT represent the people but must implement their own personal policies at the point of a gun. Representation will kill us all! We need a dictator who really cares….


For those not familiar with my style, I prefer sarcasm when discussing absurdity.


Mjd

Folks,


Don’t ban natural gas, ban Heidi Harmon.


The citizens of San Luis Obispo ought to wise up and dump this tired whacky left politician, before things go from bad to worse. Harmon’s attempt at social engineering is laughable, and I say let’s get the lawsuit filed, so we stop this moronic policy.


In a larger sense, Harmon & Co. have offered us bad solutions, and their attempt to gain political advantage with their over political ideology just shows that the SLO Progressives are too immature to lead, and people like Adam Hill and Heidi Harmon ought to be retired in the next election.


Speak truth to power.


Defy the natural gas ban.


SLO_Children_at_play

You know, I pass by the same gigantic pothole almost everyday on Monterrey street near 7-11. It’s been there (or at least noticeable) for the past month or so. Twice in that month’s time I have called to complain about that pothole, and been assured it would be filled by “end of day.” The only reason I noticed it at all, is because an even larger pothole (that too was never addressed) caused a flat tire on my Lexus to the tune of $170.00 plus a $50.00 alignment. A tire that was less than a year old.


Mayor Yates in Morro Bay used to say: “We try to make filling potholes a priority, because it is one of the least expensive ways you can please the majority of voters despite their political views.”


I do believe that if I continue to complain about this pothole in SLO however, that mayor Harmon and the current cast of kooks on the council will just close Monterrey street to vehicular traffic and turn into a giant bike/pedestrian path. Of course they would never say they did it to spite the complainers, but rather to reduce SLO city’s “carbon footprint.”


I’m sure someone else here remembers a time not all that long ago when politicians would actually agree to fix something, to build something, to improve something, anything that would make the majority of voters happy on both ends of the political spectrum. Today’s self-avowed Socialists that make up the majority rule in SLO and California, only know how to take things away from the citizens, then charge more in taxes for the privilege. When you dare question them they assure you that they took these rights, freedoms, and liberties away from you for your own good (and to save the world).


Socialism works in Socialist countries, because the politicians truly believe that it is (as it has been) serving the common good. In America Socialism will never work, because those who wish to implement it are simply control freaks, power hungry, and too weak / lazy/ stupid to compete or survive by capitalist rules. I myself find it incredible that the left, the liberals, the Democrats who once fought to protect those who were oppressed by big government and the wealthy; have become the modern day kings, queens, and robber barons who overtax, oppress and enslave the poor.


So the almighty kings and queens of San Luis Obispo have decreed that inhabitants of new homes can no longer use natural gas to cook with or heat their home. This in a state where you no longer have reliable electrical service either. Cook on a wood stove? Nope, those are banned too. Outdoor barbecue? Funny how it is the so-called “Progressives” that have slowly oppressed us into a regressed quality of life where we have no choice but to cook food on an open flame outdoors. The political party that believes the most in evolution, seems to have forgotten what direction it travels in.


I really want to go get some cold patch from Home Depot and go fix that pothole myself. But I believe there are already laws and fines prohibiting that. So I guess I’ll have to wait until the next gas tax increase, and hope the pothole will eventually be filled.


aye-caramba

Mayor Harmon has been nothing but trouble, BIG trouble…. just saying “me too” to all of the baffling ideas coming out of SF and Berkeley. Cant wait for her to go.


citizensoldier

Thank you for “the rest of the story,” KV. I have been wondering how SLO Town was handling the conflict of interest issues.


“In late September, SLO City officials suspended the plan to phase out the use of natural gas appliances while they look into allegations Councilwoman Andy Pease violated conflict of interest rules by voting on the ordinance. Pease is a partner in Balance Green Consulting, a company in line to financially benefit from the city’s proposed energy policy.”


Let’s hope Pease is smart enough to recuse herself from the next vote for stupidity, in SLO Town


Shocked in MB

Politicians on the central coast trip over themselves in legislating issues on the periphery of reality instead of focusing on day to day issues that they can impact.


jbt

Crooks all…disgusting!


citizensoldier

So very true.


Mitch C

Our planet has been evolving since it was created over 4 billion years ago and will continue to evolve. Over a period of time the planet has been in many different configurations some favorable to human habitant some not. Some planet change has been positive: 15,000 years ago the Midwest was covered by massive glaciers, when the glaciers receded the great lakes were formed creating over 16% of the worlds fresh water supply (this is a positive effect of climate change).


The planet will continue to evolve and there is absolutely nothing that it’s inhabitants can do to change or stop, particularly if the majority of the world’s population is not on board with taking mitigating measures. The planet will change nothing we can do to change that.


citizensoldier

So true.