New York City bans gas hookups in new buildings, taking step against climate change

Manhattan

CIVIC CENTER, Manhattan — New York City took a giant step toward changing the way all New Yorkers heat their homes, get hot water and cook — all in the name of combatting climate change.

The City Council just banned all gas hookups in new buildings within two years.

But there has already been immediate pushback from union workers who said this regulation by an outgoing council was rushed through without considering the consequences.

The bill would stop National Grid and Con Edison from making gas connections in new buildings under seven stories by the end of 2023 and bigger buildings by 2027.

The bills main sponsor is Councilwoman Alicka Amprey-Samuel.

“We are at a point in our lifetime that we need to act,” she said.

Amprey-Samuel also painted the new gas been as a climate justice issue, pointing to more brutal health and environmental impacts of climate change impacting communities of color.

However, the councilwoman and others cheering the more were heckled by members Plumbers Local Union No. 1. They do gas hook ups in the city on major projects.

“We could switch to green energy, green hydrogen, but we need the infrastructure,” said Mike Apuzzo, the business manager for the plumbers. “We can’t just shut the switch off to New York City and say ‘hey there’s no more gas.’”

Apuzzo said plan was rushed through.

“We are not saying climate control is not a real thing,” he said. “But we need to do impact studies, we need to know if the energy grid it’s big enough to handle it, or if we’re just going to rip up every thing down the road.”

ConEd has faced recent issues with keeping the grid going, particularly during heat waves and big storms.

But council speaker Cory Johnson says this was not simply rushed through.

Mayor de Blasio said he will enthusiastically sign this bill.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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