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A couple dozen cities across the Bay Area in California could soon move forward with bans on natural gas in new buildings, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said Monday.

Driving the news: San Jose is the largest city to pass such a measure in what’s quickly becoming a controversial trend in the Golden State designed to tackle climate change at a more local level.

What they’re saying: "Over the next weeks and months, a couple dozen cities are likely to move forward with similar ordinances,” Liccardo told Axios Monday. “We’ve been in active conversations with all those [Bay Area] cities in how we can do that together.”

Where it stands: With federal inaction on climate change persisting and the topic becoming increasingly important to liberal-leaning Americans, local politicians are moving ahead with piecemeal policies to clamp down on natural gas and other fossil fuels.

  • Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel and reduces emissions when displacing coal, but environmentalists and liberal politicians are nonetheless moving past the fuel toward renewables and other clean energy technologies.

The other side: The California Restaurant Association just sued the other major city that’s taken this step, Berkeley. San Jose’s ordinance doesn’t apply to commercial buildings like Berkeley’s does, however.

Yes, but: Liccardo said that some projections show that California residents could end up paying more over time with wholly electrified buildings compared to ones that use natural gas for services like heating and cooking. It depends on long-term costs of electricity and natural gas, he said.

Go deeper: Cities Look to Natural Gas Bans to Curb Carbon Emissions via Scientific American and E&E News

Go deeper

Updated 29 mins ago - World

Skripal poisoning suspects linked to Czech blast, as country expels 18 Russians

Combined images released by British police in 2018 of Alexander Petrov (L) and Ruslan Boshirov, who are suspected of carrying out an attack in the in the southern English city of Salisbury using Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, and also the2014 Czech depot explosion. Photo: Metropolitan Police via Getty Images

Czech police on Saturday connected two Russian men suspected of carrying out a poisoning attack in Salisbury, England, with a deadly ammunition depot explosion southeast of the capital, Prague, per Reuters.

Driving the news: Czech officials announced Saturday they're expelling 18 Russian diplomats they accuse of being involved in the blast in Vrbětice, AP notes. Czech police said later they're searching for two men carrying several passports — including two named Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

Indianapolis mass shooting suspect legally bought 2 guns, police say

Marion County Forensic Services vehicles are parked at the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday. Photo: Jeff Dean/AFP via Getty Images

The suspected gunman in this week's mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis legally purchased two assault rifles believed to have been used in the attack, police said late Saturday.

Of note: The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's statement that Brandon Scott Hole, 19, bought the rifles last July and September comes a day after the FBI said in a statement to news outlets that a "shotgun was seized" from the suspect in March 2020 after his mother raised concerns about his mental health.

U.S. and China agree to take joint climate action

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry waves as he arrives at the Elysee Presidential Palace on March 10, 2021 in Paris. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Despite an increasingly tense relationship, the U.S. and China agreed Saturday to work together to tackle global climate change, including by "raising ambition" for emissions cuts during the 2020s — a key goal of the Biden administration.

Why it matters: The joint communique released Saturday evening commits the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gases to work together to keep the most ambitious temperature target contained in the Paris Climate Agreement viable by potentially taking additional emissions cuts prior to 2030.