Real Estate

Federal court strikes down a California city’s natural gas ban


flames burn on a natural gas-burning stove.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that Berkeley, California, cannot enforce a ban on natural gas hookups in new buildings, saying a U.S. federal law preempts the city’s regulation.

The ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco was a response to a case from 2019 by the California Restaurant Association against the city of Berkeley. In the appeal, the three-judge panel said the U.S. Energy Policy Conservation Act of 1975 preempts the city’s ban on the installation of natural gas piping within new construction.

“By completely prohibiting the installation of natural gas piping within newly…


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