Proposed legislation in Springfield seeks to prohibit new natural gas connections in Illinois

A new bill has been proposed by a Democratic lawmaker to prohibit the use of natural gas in newly constructed buildings.

State Senator Celina Villanueva, a Democrat from Chicago, has introduced Senate Bill 3935, which she has named the Clean and Healthy Buildings Act.

Villanueva emphasized the need to decrease pollution in buildings and to initiate a well-planned shift from costly and polluting gas to more economical and environmentally friendly energy alternatives.

The idea of using electricity to heat homes has sparked a heated debate among Chicagoans. According to Ald. Gilbert Villegas, the cost of heating a home with electricity is significantly higher.

Villegas expressed concern about the timing of the ordinance, stating that it is the worst possible time to rush through it without considering the true costs. He made this remark amidst the freezing temperatures of winter, when many residents in Chicago were without electricity.

According to Villegas, if a ban on natural gas is implemented, it would lead to a significant increase in electricity costs, which would have the greatest impact on low-income individuals in Illinois.

The country’s first natural gas ban was implemented in California, but it was overruled by federal law, paving the way for further legal battles across the nation.

The city of Palo Alto, California, made changes to its building code to mandate that all new buildings must be fully electric. However, in light of the recent decision in Berkeley, the city has reversed this requirement. This could potentially lead to other municipalities following suit and abandoning similar mandates for all-electric buildings.

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The American Gas Association emphasized the importance of natural gas in driving environmental progress. According to the association’s statement, any prohibition on this fundamental fuel would burden consumers with substantial costs while yielding minimal environmental benefits.

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