New York Takes an Important Step Toward Sustainability

On May 2, 2023, Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York Senate and Assembly, controlled by the Democrats, approved the new state budget containing the ban on propane heating and gas-powered furnaces and stoves in most new residential buildings.

The goal is to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and tackle climate change by promoting more environmentally-friendly solutions like heat pumps and electric stoves

It’s a significant step toward sustainability, considering that according to a 2022 report, buildings are responsible for 32% of the state’s emissions.

The ban will apply to most new buildings, including multi-family dwellings and one- or two-family residences. Exemptions are in place for certain industrial and commercial structures that use natural gas due to the unique nature of their operations. 

Hohul’s spokesperson Katy Zielinski said that the new budget “will protect our families and our residents while putting New York on the trajectory to a cleaner, healthier future.”

Of course, as could be expected, the decision was met with some opposition, especially from the natural gas industry. American Gas Association president and CEO Karen Harbert argued that the ban would lead to higher costs for homeowners. 

Legal experts also predict significant legal challenges like the one posed by the California Restaurant Association to the city of Berkeley.

However, many environmental organizations and activists praised the decision. The ban is one of many climate change solutions introduced by New York state since the implementation of its landmark climate law three years ago.

It is also a major win for the net-zero carbon goal set by New York and other states across the country, which seek to reduce emissions enough to counterbalance the ones released. 

All in all, it’s an important step forward for sustainability in New York State.

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