Following the lead of a Berkeley measure from last week, Supervisors Vallie Brown and Rafeal Mandelman are introducing a measure Tuesday to make city buildings all-electric and out of gas.
You’ve seen (and perhaps rolled your eyes at) San Francisco’s recently enacted plastic bag ban and plastic straw ban, but the latest modern convenience in the Board of Supervisors’ crosshairs is a real gas. KPIX/CBS SF reports that Supervisors Vallie Brown and Rafeal Mandelman plan to introduce a ban on natural gas lines in any city-owned buildings or city-sponsored renovation projects. The two lawmakers say they hope to enact the ban in September, and have it go into effect by January 1, 2020.
“When we think of greenhouse gases, we usually think of cars, but buildings generate a whopping 44 percent of San Francisco’s greenhouse gas emissions,” Sup. Brown told KPIX. “We’ll never achieve our net zero carbon climate goals until all our buildings go all-electric.”
Brown says the measure would reduce emissions in new city buildings to zero, since new and rehabilitated municipal buildings are powered by greenhouse gas-free hydroelectricity. Natural gas is generally considered cleaner than coal or oil, but the industry’s recent switch to fracking has caused significant environmental and public health concerns like unusual earthquake patterns and tap water that catches on fire.
The City of Berkeley passed a similar measure last week, but Berkeley’s ban extends to all new homes constructed in the city, and will eventually also cover commercial buildings and multi-unit residential structures. The proposed San Francisco natural gas ban would only cover new construction and renovations on city-owned buildings.
This is the latest copycat measure that the San Francisco Supervisors jumped onto after other cities adopted them, just like the proposed tech cafeteria ban had its roots in similar laws from Menlo Park and Mountain View. So at the rate SF supervisors are taking on other Bay Area cities’ unconventional bans, expect the supes to remove the word “manhole” from municipal codes any day now.
Image: AZAdam via Flickr