Another city declares natural gas off-limits, yet relies on its use

(In light of the current global craze declaring natural gas a deadly eco-villain, I’m republishing this commentary from September 20, 2019)

Dumb and Dumber.  That best describes San Jose’s City Council and their mayor, Sam Liccardo.  These scientifically illiterate fools have decided that–in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions–they must institute a decree that will mandate that all new residential housing projects ban the use of natural gas appliances and employ electric devices instead.

Here’s the story:

(Reuters) – San Jose, the 10th most populous U.S. city and political center of Silicon Valley, on Tuesday moved to ban natural gas in most new residential buildings beginning next year.

With a unanimous vote by the 10-member city council and Mayor Sam Liccardo, San Jose became the largest U.S. city so far to seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by favoring appliances that run on renewable electricity sources over those powered by natural gas.

As expected, the city council adopted new building codes that favor electrification over natural gas during a meeting broadcast on San Jose’s official website.

But the vote also required the council to return next month with an ordinance that would go further by banning natural gas in most new homes. Mayor Liccardo had pushed for the stricter rules in recent days.

The move by San Jose and others comes amid rising local and state opposition to the use of natural gas in buildings because of the fossil fuel’s contribution to climate-warming emissions.

Here’s the truth:

47 percent of the electricity generated in California is done so by burning natural gas (according to the California Energy Commission).  Additionally, 9 percent is generated via nuclear power.  Large hydro-electic power (generated by dams–another sworn enemy of the environmentalists) makes up 11 percent of the electricity mix. As for natural gas –

  • When used for energy, natural gas releases up to 50% less CO2 than coal and 20-30% less than oil;
  • When used in power generation, natural gas emits as much as 50% less CO2 than coal, results in negligible emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), mercury (Hg), and particulates compared with other fuels.

By the way, the solar and wind industries respond as clever marketers often do when faced with environmental problems: they insist there really isn’t a problem.

Specifically, solar promoters suggest panels can and will be profitably recycled, while wind promoters note that ordinary house cats kill more birds than wind turbines.

Such claims are misleading. House cats kill small, common birds like robins and sparrows, not large, endangered and threatened birds like eagles. And, experts agree, it’s not profitable to recycle solar panels because purchasing fresh materials is cheaper.


Brian Sussman

Reader Interactions


  1. Steve Bateman says

    Truly Useful Idiots! PG&E’s gotta loVe ‘em though. Most inefficient way to heat a home is with electricity. But as you say, they must be undereducated. That’ll make older homes’ with gas values go up though, so it’s a win win for existing homeowners. Be hooves any builder of a new home to build outside those City Limits for sure!!

  2. William Brandeis says

    And you didn’t mention that 100% “electric” means significantly higher electricity bills for consumers (and California already has the highest prices in the nation!).
    William Brandies

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