NEWS & ANALYSIS

New York City Council Votes to Prohibit Natural Gas from New Buildings


Democrats leading the New York City Council voted Wednesday to ban new construction buildings from having natural gas hookups. 

The bill, which will now make its way to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s desk for signature, bans fossil fuels in any new construction building. 

As reported by The Federalist, it passed 40 to 7 and would go into effect in 2023 for buildings under seven stories. All buildings would have to abide by the law by 2027. 

New construction buildings would have to use energy sources other than oil or natural gas for heating, cooking and water, meaning they’d likely use electricity instead. 

“New York City took a ‘historic step’ in further punishing its citizens by restricting energy, creating shortages, and promoting price spikes,” Marc Morano, a former senior staffer on the Senate environment and public works committee, told The Federalist. “After two years of COVID-19 lockdowns, it appears the city government has still not reached the limit to how much it is willing to destroy the lives of New Yorkers.” 

Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel, who sponsored the measure, said that there would be “some exceptions where electrification might not yet be a feasible substitute,” which would include things like commercial kitchens, hospitals, laboratories, and crematoriums. 

Joe Borrelli, the Republican minority leader of the city council who voted against the bill, said the measure would not allow the city to meet its electricity demands. 

“To think about how problematic this bill is, nearly every single building in the city of New York would not be able to comply,” he said. “Natural gas has made our city air quality cleaner than it ever was, and abandoning it when our electrical grid can’t sustain this proposal is going to be a real issue.”