New York lawmakers passed a state budget Tuesday that bars the use of natural gas in new residential buildings, the first such law in the nation.
The provision will take effect in 2026 for buildings seven stories and shorter and in 2029 for all other buildings. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) is expected to sign it into law.
New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) praised the budget and called it essential to achieving the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), a 2019 climate law that sets a target of cutting emissions by 40 percent by 2030.
“Changing the ways we make and use energy to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels will help ensure a healthier environment for us and our children,” Heastie said. “The provisions in this budget will help us do that and meet the ambitious climate goals we set in the CLCPA.”
Existing buildings are unaffected by the budget provision, as are new commercial buildings. New York City implemented a similar phaseout earlier this year, set to expand to taller buildings by 2027.
Heastie had previously blocked similar legislation that had passed the state senate.
In a statement ahead of the final passage, a coalition of environmental advocacy groups said the provision was essential to reducing emissions but warned against a possible “poison pill” in the final language allowing localities and municipalities to opt out.
Numerous similar policy efforts exist in other cities and localities, including a 10-city demonstration program in Massachusetts that allows the participants to bar natural gas in new construction.
Berkeley, Calif., meanwhile, became the first city in the nation to outright ban natural gas in new construction, but a U.S. appeals court struck down the law in April, suggesting the New York provision may have an uphill legal battle.
Earlier this year, the federal government sought comments on a proposed phaseout of new gas stoves, sparking backlash, some of which misleadingly portrayed it as a proposal for an immediate ban.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission walked back the notion of a phaseout shortly thereafter but sought public comment on safety concerns around gas stoves in March.