Despite the fact that natural gas is the cleanest of the fossil fuels hands down (and now the cheapest), liberals continue to oppose it. The “keep it in the ground” folks scored another victory this week when the city of San Jose California voted to ban natural gas lines and appliances in all new construction projects going forward. This is allegedly part of the state-mandated goal of going 100% “carbon-free” by 2045. Of course, as with all things, the devil is in the details. (CBS San Francisco)
San Jose became the biggest U.S. city to ban natural gas in new construction projects as the city council unanimously approved the proposal Tuesday evening.
The so-called reach code targets appliances that use natural gas–stoves, water heaters and furnaces in buildings. The city says these appliances accounts for one-third of greenhouse gas emissions.
The passed ordinance will ban natural gas in the construction of new accessory dwelling units, new single family homes and new low rise and multifamily buildings.
San Jose may be the largest city to do this so far, but they’ hardly the first. Berkeley voted to do the same thing earlier this year to loud cheers from the environmentalist community. (But that’s Berkeley we’re talking about, so what did you expect?) They still have a lot of questions to answer, however, with all the pesky science nagging at their heals.
Consider the fact that their entire theory runs on “electrification.” In addition to the natural gas ban, this same legislation will mandate that all new housing be built with outlets in the parking areas for people to recharge their electric cars. The theory here is that people without access to charging stations will be less likely to buy an electric car, and California wants everyone using those soon.
So now, all of the appliances, including furnaces, stoves, water heaters and all the rest, will be electric. And the buildings will have electric outlets where people charge their vehicles. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that a considerable increase in the load on the electrical grid is coming. And where does California get their electricity? More than half of it comes from… wait for it... natural gas-fired plants.
To get rid of the natural gas plants when you’ve already banned coal plants, you’ve only got a few choices. Hydro is good, but California isn’t exactly brimming with water. (They get about 12% of their energy from hydro and they’re nearly maxed out.) Nuclear would be perfect, but they’re phasing that out too. (That’s another 9% they’re getting ready to lose.) That pretty much leaves them with solar and wind, which accounts for roughly 24% of their current power generation. Do you really think you can go from there to 100% in a decade or two?
And in the meantime, until they shut the natural gas plants down, they’ll actually wind up burning more natural gas to create all this juice while they “electrify” everything. It’s so brilliant on paper and yet so stupid at the bottom line. Still, they’re going to keep pushing to shut down the rest of their energy generation capacity.
But hey, San Jose. You do you. Feel free to freeze in the dark.