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    Gas ban to hurt NYC consumers, advocacy group claims


New York City's mayor wants to tap into renewable energy, though an advocacy group warns that consumers could pay heavily for the shift.

by: Daniel Graeber

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Gas ban to hurt NYC consumers, advocacy group claims

New York City consumers could face “astronomical” costs as a result of a proposal to ban natural gas hookups to new buildings by 2030, an advocacy group said March 17.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in his State of the City address in January said the city would ban new fossil fuel connections to new construction by at least 2030.

We need to turn to renewables like never before and connect New York City to clean Canadian hydropower and invest in the transmission lines that make that possible,” he said. The city government, he said, could be powered entirely by renewables within four years.

Consumer Energy Alliance, a group that describes itself as an advocate for sensible energy policies, said the proposal would leave consumers footing the bill.

“Mayor de Blasio’s natural gas service ban is nothing short of ill-conceived and irresponsible. It will be acutely felt by the poor and those on fixed incomes who disproportionately struggle with higher energy bills and disruptions,” CEA’s New York Director Wendy Hijos said. “If forced onto families, our report findings show the cost to consumers would be astronomical.”

The US Energy Information Administration finds total natural gas consumption in the state as a whole has been relatively steady since at least 2015. Consumption in the industrial and commercial sectors has seen a modest decline from recent highs.

The electric power sector, however, saw consumption jump 9.5% last year from the recent low-water mark in 2017.

Several cities across the US have proposed similar restrictions on natural gas as major economies look to a greener future. On the green-energy movement in general, Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, said March 17 on the release of the agencys latest report that no part of the fossil fuel sector will be spared from the clean-energy transition, “so every part of the industry needs to consider how to respond as momentum builds behind the world’s drive for net-zero emissions.”