San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon takes aim at gas industry

June 7, 2021


San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon made a national television appearance last week in which she spoke out against the gas industry for allegedly targeting her with intimidation tactics and purportedly threatening to kill local residents.

Harmon appeared on the TBS talk show and satirical news program, “Full Frontal with Samatha Bee.” Harmon’s appearance came in a segment called, “Here’s Why Your Gas Stove Is Killing You.” The segment criticized gas stoves and promoted electric stoves as a safer and more environmentally friendly alternative.

In the segment, Harmon recounts how gas industry representatives responded last year to the San Luis Obispo City Council attempting to phase out gas appliances in buildings citywide. A union president used profanity to describe her and called for having Harmon voted off the council, Harmon said.

“I’m Mayor Heidi Harmon, and I was targeted by the gas industry,” Harmon says in the television segment.

“The intimidation tactics were at an all-time low,” Harmon goes on to say. “They threatened to come to a council meeting during the pandemic, and so to see someone actually write in a letter that they were going to busload in people that are potentially COVID-positive to intentionally infect, and therefore potentially kill, members of our community, they stopped at nothing.”

In June 2020, the San Luis Obispo City Council adopted an energy policy requiring all-electric new buildings, an effort Harmon spearheaded. At that time, Harmon sat on the Central Coast Community Energy Board of Directors, the electric energy company she was promoting.

Over months leading up to the vote, gas industry representatives lobbied against the policy, including by sending a letter in March 2020 threatening to bus hundreds of people into SLO to oppose the gas ban and potentially add to the pandemic. The email was sent a few days prior to the issuance of the initial coronavirus stay-at-home order in California.

Following the airing of the television segment, Harmon tweeted that SLO does not allow bullies to make policy.

“In San Luis Obispo, we don’t let bullies make policy. We created a policy of fossil fuel-free homes — the gas union threatened to bus in 100s of potentially Covid positive folks to infect our town,” Harmon stated in the tweet.

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40% of California’s electricity is generated by Natural Gas Power Plants…

“Countering this is a 2018 study from the California Building Industry Association (CBIA) finding that homes with natural gas appliances could cost $7,200 to upgrade wiring and electrical panels to purchase new appliances, $877 per household each year in increased energy costs and an overall cost increase of $4.3 to $6.1 billion per year.”. That was from 2018! Labor and materials have more than doubled since then.

Jon Tatro

Heidi has lost it, she is a conspiracy theory nut. The gas industry was going to bus in Covid sick people to kill her, good lord do the left wing nuts believe this nonsense. Time to recall Harmon she is unfit to serve.


I also frequently use profanity when describing Heidi Harmon…


Who suffers because of progressive good intentions? The working poor. Those of us native born Californians struggling with the over priced food and gas and rent. Thanks California


It is unbelievable that she can make policy decisions when she has a financial interest in 3CE, an electricity “broker” that the city “decided” to start using. Less gas use = more money for 3CE.


At least when the electrical power goes out as it frequently does, sometimes for a day or two, one can still cook meals with the gas range and heat water. California electrical grid is unstable, expensive and with the drought will be more expensive. Harmon is promoting all the eggs in a very expensive single basket


A basket she has a vested interest in being on the board of directors for 3CE, the electricity provider of “choice” for SLO.


Not a fan of a gas ban, but if I had to choose, I’d much rather have no gas than no electricity. If Harmon bans gas, I’ll just buy a propane BBQ.

Side note, do you live in a third world country? I can’t remember the last time my power went out and certainly not “frequently and “sometimes for a day or two”! Sounds like you should buy a generator!


PG&E fire safety power shut downs in rural areas.


There have been zero PSPS events in the Los Padres electric system (SLO and north SB counties). Some might have been planned, but none executed.


I’ve had my electric go out for a couple days, with gas, we ate, and had heat, not a bad way to go, the lefties want to tear down all of our electric plants, dams included and run us off of solar and wind, that won’t produce enough to keep us going, besides taking vital land out of crop production and producing visual pollution with solar farms and windmills.


That’s just it…there’s no good reason to have to choose. We can all live just fine with both. Its the bizarre claims and antics along with the obvious conflict of interest that makes people want to send her adrift.

Darrell Queen

For the uninformed propane comes from natural gas!


Also for the uninformed, an ordinance outlawing natural gas appliances in buildings would not stop you from using a propane barbecue in your backyard.

Last Individual

Slo2 must live next to Diablo Canyon where they never shut the power off. We have lived here over 50 years. Up until the last lustrum or so, we never had a power outage more than 11 hours (most well less than that, an hour or two), and they happened maybe a couple times a year. In the last few years, we have had TWO major power outages, one about three days long, and the other only 2 days long. We know people in other areas who have had more than one multiple day outages in the same week. When ratherB characterizes the power as “electrical power goes out as it frequently does, sometimes for a day or two”, ratherB is exactly correct.


Ban clean-burning gas appliances and continue to burn coal in Utah at night, or gas natural gas at 35-55% efficiency, plus electrical transmission costs as opposed to close to 100% efficiency utilizing natural gas in your home. Aside from the modest Helms project in the Sierras, there is no way to store enough electricity affordably, or in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner in the near future. Don’t believe the heat pump and induction lies, better than resistance heating but nowhere close to gas. I spoke to a Monterey Bay Community Power employee who couldn’t even speak the language of energy at an event they sponsored. He admitted he didn’t know anything about energy but a hippie-buddy told they were handing out some sweet, high-paying, advocacy jobs like candy if you knew the right people. He kept parroting the nonsensical crap that they buy 100% carbon-free energy and that they were the good “part” of the “electron bathtub” and that PG&E was responsible for all the “bad”, even at night. Same for the useless 3C-REN group that does nothing but pay salaries with their $52 million dollars of ratepayer money. This is BS, the mix is the same as PG&E. PG&E is already under PUC mandate to buy ALL available carbon-free energy. Heidi will no doubt be getting a fat paycheck soon, her first job, if you can call it that, in quite a while.


Heidi Harmon calling someone a bully is just the ultimate hypocrisy.


She has a valve at her meter so she can turn her gas off anytime she wants….Gas is clean and plentiful in the United States….


No you are wrong, This is a woman who couch surfs, doesn’t have a stove or a kitchen or an apartment of her own, who moved out of SLO to avoid the pandemic Real leader there.

People should have a choice in appliances, especially if they are forking out north of $800,000 for a new house with no yard. Gas stoves destroying us? Gimme a break. Heidi Harmon has done more to destroy the character and look of this community in just a few short years than anyone in its history, and everyone who stays here will have to live with the impacts of her misguided thinking long after she’s gone to prison – oops – I mean voted out of office!

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