Dear Editor:

The city of Half Moon Bay’s ban on gas appliances for new construction and requirements for retrofit has been covered on this page many times. The issue is clearly a great source of irritation for city residents because, if not stopped, it will eventually require all residents to replace the clean, convenient and cost-effective natural gas appliances with substitutes that are more expensive and do not work as well. During our recent power outages caused by the storms, several blocks in my neighborhood were without power for days. Those with gas appliances were able to heat their homes and cook even if they were without electricity.  

 A recent U.S. Court of Appeals decision, California Restaurant Association vs. City of Berkeley, has been found unanimously in favor of gas appliance users. The court struck down Berkeley’s gas appliance ban. While I am not a lawyer, some reporting on this issue have suggested that this decision applies to all gas bans in the entire country. That would include the one in effect in Half Moon Bay. This decision should open a path for local residents to compel the city to drop the ban, if they do not do so on their own.

 I am sure that it has not escaped the attention of your readers that, while our governor is pushing Californians to switch their transportation to electric cars, during the peak of the last heat wave he told owners of EVs not to charge them because the grid could not deliver enough power to charge cars along with other uses we have for electricity in our homes. Given the fragile state of California’s power grid, we should be looking to diversify sources of energy use in our homes, not to go all in on electricity, which we cannot generate in sufficient quantity.   

Robert Blumen

Half Moon Bay

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(1) comment


Thanks to this court ruling the city is now issuing permits for gas lines

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