Bloomberg Law
May 12, 2022, 7:06 PM

Berkeley Ban on Natural Gas Hookups Faces Ninth Circuit Scrutiny

Maya Earls
Maya Earls
Legal Reporter

A panel of Ninth Circuit judges seemed unsure Thursday that a California city’s ban on new natural gas hookups amounted to a de facto ban on natural gas appliances that is preempted by federal law.

The panel heard oral arguments in a dispute between Berkeley, Calif., and the California Restaurant Association, which says the city’s ordinance prevents its members from using natural gas appliances in new buildings. The ordinance is preempted by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act because it effectively bans those appliances, the group says.

The ordinance is “as close as you can get to directly regulating the ...

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