Zorn bill would preempt local bans on natural gas use

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Wednesday introduced legislation to stop local governments from prohibiting the use of natural gas in Michigan homes and businesses.

“The terrible idea of banning the use of clean and affordable natural gas at the local level is the latest example of environmental extremism — one that would have a huge impact on Michigan families and small businesses,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “This bill would protect homeowners across our state by preemptively stopping these dangerous policies — which have been adopted in cities from Seattle to New York City — from coming to Michigan.”

Senate Bill 820 would prohibit a county, city, village or township in Michigan from adopting or enforcing an ordinance, resolution or policy banning the use of natural gas or the installation of natural gas infrastructure.

“The vast majority of Michigan residents use natural gas to heat their homes,” Zorn said. “Not only is a piecemeal energy policy bad for our state, banning the use of natural gas in homes without the electric infrastructure to replace it or assistance to help struggling families get new equipment is morally reprehensible.”

In December, New York City banned natural gas connections in new buildings by 2027 and the state of New York is considering a bill to mandate all-electric buildings by 2023. Last year, Seattle also strengthened its restrictions on natural gas in new commercial and multifamily buildings and now bans natural gas use for heating.

Since 2020, twenty states have passed similar laws to block local governments from banning the use of natural gas.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Local Government Committee for consideration.

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