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

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Trump whisked out of press briefing after shooting outside White House

President Trump was escorted out of a coronavirus press briefing by a Secret Service agent on Monday evening after law enforcement reportedly shot an armed suspect outside of the White House.

What's new: The 51-year-old suspect approached a uniformed Secret Service officer on the corner of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, near the White House, and said he had a weapon, the agency alleged in a statement late Monday. He "ran aggressively towards the officer, and in a drawing motion, withdrew the object from his clothing."

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Protests in Belarus turn deadly following sham election

Belarus law enforcement officers guard a street during a protest on Monday night. Police in Minsk have fired rubber bullets for a second night against protesters. Photo: Natalia Fedosenko/TASS via Getty Image

Protesters and security forces have been clashing across Belarus overnight in a second night of protests that has left at least one person dead, hundreds injured and thousands arrested.

Why it matters: Sunday’s rigged presidential elections have yielded political uncertainty unlike any seen in Aleksander Lukashenko’s 26-year tenure. After claiming an implausible 80% of the vote, Lukashenko is using every tool in the authoritarian arsenal to maintain his grip on power.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 20,014,574 — Total deaths: 734,755 — Total recoveries — 12,222,744Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 5,089,416 — Total deaths: 163,425 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. Politics: Trump claims he would have not called for Obama to resign over 160,000 virus deathsHouse will not hold votes until Sept. 14 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Business: Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out.
  5. Public health: 5 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — A dual coronavirus and flu threat is set to deliver a winter from hell.
  6. Sports: The cost of kids losing gym class — College football is on the brink.
  7. World: Europe's CDC recommends new restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases."