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'How Will the Grid Cope?' NY Natural Gas Ban Raises Concerns About Electricity Costs, Power Outages

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New York state has become the first state in the nation to ban natural gas stoves and furnaces in most new buildings as the Democrat-controlled government looks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the name of climate change. 

The mandate negotiated by Gov. Kathy Hochul and her fellow Democrats in the state legislature is part of the Empire State's budget.

When the phase-in starts in 2026, newly constructed buildings will have to install induction ranges and heat pumps that run on electricity.

The state mandate applies only to new construction and does not affect existing buildings.

"I want to be very clear. I know people love to misinterpret this, but people with existing gas stoves, you're welcome to keep them," Hochul told reporters Tuesday before lawmakers began voting on the budget.

"This is where our nation has to go eventually," she said. "But I want to make sure that it's not a bumpy road to the transition."

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However, some New Yorkers were left cold by Hochul's idea to ban natural gas. 

"Kathy should mind her own business and get out of our kitchens," Yas Kantakis, a resident of Sutton Place, told The New York Post.

"Why would somebody come into your private home and tell you what to do? We're not communist yet – we're getting there – but it's just an insult."

"I have electric in Florida and I hate it, you can't control it," Claire Gozzo, 70, said. "I want a new stove. I don't like it. I like gas because you can control it and everything cooks good."

Others like Jeannie Rose of Boca Raton, Florida, told The Post she likes her electrical induction stove. "It boils water in like 10 seconds, it's very good," she said. "You can control it like a gas stove {and} You get the benefits of a gas stove without the environmental damage."

Climate Plan Adds Higher Costs, Strain on Electric Grid

However, critics say the upcoming state ban will drive up already rising energy costs while depriving many New Yorkers of their right to have beloved gas stoves in future homes, according to The Post

A Siena College poll in February found only 39% of registered voters in New York support banning all fossil-fuel-burning equipment in new family homes in two years, and in all construction by 2029. 

Government efforts to wean society off fossil fuel-burning equipment — especially gas stoves — have been slammed by Republicans and officials in the energy sector as heavy-handed infringements on consumer choice. But environmentalists say climate goals can't be reached without addressing homes and businesses.

For now, the new construction mandate avoids the more politically fraught issue of replacing all existing fossil fuel equipment. But critics say it will add costs to new construction and put more strain on the electrical grid. 

The New York Independent System Operator, the agency that manages the state's bulk transmission lines, warned of reliability concerns in its November 2022 report citing increased electrical usage due to weather-related issues. 

"Why would they load down the grid with more electric? New York has had so many problems over the years with blackouts in the summertime when it's hot," Francine Leibman of the Upper East Side told The Post. 

"Now they want to have electric cars — which OK, I'm all for that — but they want to make stoves electric too? How will the grid cope?" she asked. 

But the New York mandate could face legal challenges after a recent federal appeals court decision on a California city's attempt to ban natural gas hookups. 

As CBN News reported in April, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a 2019 natural gas ban that applied to the construction of new buildings in Berkeley. The appeals court's panel of three judges ruled the city's ban violated the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975. 

The 9th Circuit Court's decision may set a precedent that could affect states and municipalities across the country. 

GOP Lawmakers Investigate Activist Groups Pushing Gas Stove Ban

Meanwhile, congressional lawmakers are demanding more information about the activist groups linked to the recent effort to ban gas stoves. 

In an exclusive story, The Daily Caller reported U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, the ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, and James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, sent three letters last month to nonprofit Consumer Reports, the nonprofit Rewiring America, the conservation group Windward Fund and the nonprofit Climate Imperative Foundation (CIF) asking for information about whether they had consulted with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regarding a potential gas stove ban. 

Both Cruz and Comer chastised the organizations for failing to completely answer the questions the lawmakers asked in their letters. They even called out Rewiring America for providing a "one-paragraph" response that "reads like the 'About Us' section on the organization's website."

"Such lack of transparency with Congress and the American public is unacceptable," the lawmakers wrote in each letter, setting a May 10 deadline for the groups to respond.

In January, comments from the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission that "any option is on the table" to regulate gas stoves sparked outrage from conservatives who said it amounted to government intrusion in people's homes. The White House has said that President Joe Biden doesn't support a ban on gas stoves.

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of