What a natural gas ban would mean for your monthly budget
A bill making its way through state legislature would prohibit natural gas lines from being extended to any new construction in Washington.
The bill (HB 1589), which passed 52-44 in the House, saw intense opposition. Minority House Leader J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, said in a tweet this legislation was “the most poorly thought-out major bill I’ve ever seen.” He predicted it will “Will cause redesign, delay, extra costs.”
The cost will almost certainly impact every Washingtonian. Prohibiting new natural gas for housing will significantly increase the cost of new housing. On top of that, it costs three times more to run a house using electricity than natural gas. New housing is already expensive in Washington, just one factor that contributes to its high cost of living.
Unreasonable restrictions on natural gas would also negatively impact independent grocers and convenience stores. These stores often rely on natural gas to run refrigeration systems and to offset expensive electrical costs for stores that must have these systems running at certain temperatures at all times in order to comply with the health code. In order to stay in business, those costs will need to be passed on to the consumer, increasing the cost of food beyond what people are willing to pay in food costs. With food prices out of reach, the result could be food deserts around the state.
Hospitality businesses will also feel economic pain should this law pass. If new natural gas connections are prohibited, it will result in significant cost impacts for struggling hospitality businesses, as the demand for rent for the spaces with existing natural gas service will skyrocket. Rents may become unaffordable for small, locally owned family businesses.
While this costly bill has passed the House, it’s still under deliberation in the Senate. There is still time to contact your state senator and tell them we cannot afford this misguided ban on natural gas.