Cities are starting to ban gas in buildings. Arizona’s not having it.

Like many cities around the country, Phoenix, Arizona, has a plan to achieve an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. But a new state law that was fast-tracked through the Arizona legislature and signed by the governor last week could cripple Phoenix and other Arizona cities’ ability to pull their climate plans off.

It only took a month for HB 2686 to go from bill to law after it was introduced on January 21. The new law prevents Arizona’s cities and towns from passing codes or ordinances that could “have the effect of restricting a person’s or entity’s ability to use the services of a utility provider.” In essence, it prohibits them from banning natural gas or other fossil fuels in buildings.

The funny thing is that there’s no evidence that anyone in the state was even considering a gas ban. “No cities, that we are aware of, were even remotely looking at or considering this type of action,” Caryn Potter, the Arizona program associate for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, or SWEEP, told Grist.


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