Nov 26, 2019

To fight climate change, California cities look to ban natural gas

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

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America’s war over natural gas hits home in New York

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a major utility are locked in a standoff over natural gas that’s been years in the making and has national implications.

Why it matters: The battle, which is leaving thousands of New Yorkers without access to the fuel, is the starkest repercussion yet of fights brewing for years across the country over oil and gas pipelines and their role in fueling climate change.

Go deeperArrowNov 20, 2019

Why clean energy isn’t enough to tackle climate change

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Forget renewable energy for a moment. To really fight climate change, the world needs to focus far more on cutting its use of oil, natural gas and coal.

The big picture: Like adding salad to your pasta doesn’t help you lose weight, adding cleaner energy to a world run on fossil fuels won’t cut greenhouse gas emissions. Yet that’s what we’re doing now.

Go deeperArrowDec 2, 2019

The message behind Chevron's $10 billion write-down

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Chevron announced a $10 billion to $11 billion write-down on several natural gas assets and one of its oil projects in the Gulf of Mexico.

Driving the news: The company said yesterday that the downward revision in its long-term price outlook means that it will "reduce funding to various gas-related opportunities."

Go deeperArrowDec 11, 2019