Lawsuit Seeks to Block New York's Ban on Gas Stoves

Gas and construction trade groups say the state does not have the legal ability to enforce the rule.

Burners on a natural gas stove in Walpole, Mass., June 21, 2023.
Burners on a natural gas stove in Walpole, Mass., June 21, 2023.
AP Photo/Steven Senne, File

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gas and construction trade groups are suing to block New York state's ban on gas stoves and furnaces in new buildings.

The organizations argue the law violates the federal government's rules around how gas appliances are regulated, and filed the case against New York on Thursday in federal court.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, approved the ban this spring on the installation of fossil-fuel equipment in new buildings. It's set to take effect in 2026 for structures of seven stories or less and in 2029 for larger buildings. The law would not apply to existing buildings.

Similar policies have been approved by dozens of Democrat-controlled cities and local governments as supporters say they are aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve indoor air quality. The rule quickly became the source of partisan outrage over climate change, with Republican officials and other opponents criticizing it as an infringement on consumer choice.

The New York Department of State, which is named as a defendant, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The case was filed by the National Association of Home Builders and the National Propane Gas Association, among others. It alleges that New York does not have the legal ability to enforce its rule because a preexisting federal law called the Energy Policy and Conservation Act already regulates energy use policies.

They are asking a judge to rule that the state's ban is unenforceable under federal law and for it to be blocked before it takes effect.

The state's law contains exemptions for emergency backup power equipment and for commercial food establishments, laboratories and car washes. New York City is set to begin phasing in a separate set of rules for all-electric new construction next year.

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