Berkeley agrees to repeal gas stove ban

Other cities with similar ordinances may have to follow suit.

Berkeley’s natural gas ban is going away, with the city ending a long-time feud with the California Restaurant Association to repeal the ban. 

The repeal came as part of a legal agreement last Friday to end the lawsuit from the California Restaurant Association. 


The backstory: Berkeley initially banned gas hookups on most new buildings in 2019. 

  • Several other cities followed, including Santa Cruz and Encinitas. 
  • Last year the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Berkeley’s ban violated the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act, saying that the federal government has the authority over state and local governments to regulate energy efficiency standards. 
  • In January the 9th Circuit Court declined to hear the case, effectively bringing an end to Berkeley’s ban. 

The big picture: Following the ruling last year and refusal to rehear the case, the California Restaurant Association and Berkeley reached a settlement last week to repeal the ban. 

  • The lawsuit has been put on hold to allow Berkeley the time to pass legislation to repeal the 2019 ordinance. 
  • While that will take time, Berkeley will not enforce the ordinance, per the settlement. 

What they’re saying: “We are encouraged that the City of Berkeley has agreed to take steps to repeal the ordinance, including immediate nonenforcement of the ban, to remain compliant with federal energy law,” said California Restaurant Association President and CEO Jot Condie. “Every city and county in California that has passed a similar ordinance should follow their lead.” 

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