After a lawsuit for the California Restaurant Association, that group says the City of Berkeley is going to repeal their ban on natural gas in new buildings that went into effect in 2020.

Back in 2019, the City of Berkeley became the first city in the nation to ban natural gas pipelines in new buildings, and that law went into effect on January 1, 2020. It did not stay in effect for long.

The ban, which is largely characterized as a fight over emissions from gas stoves, but also involves furnaces and water heaters, was struck down by an appeals court last April. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld that decision earlier this year, saying only the federal government could regulate such energy decisions.

So now NBC Bay Area reports that Berkeley will repeal its natural gas ban. Except that information does not come from the City of Berkeley. That information comes from the California Restaurant Association (CRA), who brought the lawsuit against Berkeley in the first place, and now claims that Berkeley has agreed to repeal the ban.

“We are encouraged that the City of Berkeley has agreed to take steps to repeal the ordinance, including immediate nonenforcement of the ban, to remain compliant with federal energy law. Every city and county in California that has passed a similar ordinance should follow their lead,” CRA president and CEO Jot Condie said in a press release. “Climate change must be addressed, but piecemeal policies at the local level like bans on natural gas piping in new buildings or all-electric ordinances, which are preempted by federal energy laws, are not the answer.”

According to the CRA — and again, we are just taking their word for this, though a ton of national media publications have picked it up — Berkeley has agreed to repeal the ordinance. That city will apparently start writing the repeal legislation, which will take months to pass, but has agreed that they will not enforce any bans in the meantime.

So what does this mean for San Francisco’s natural gas ban, which passed in 2020? It may not mean anything, as SF’s policy provides for opt-outs for businesses who ask for one. “No one has come to us asking us to change or repeal our law,” Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who co-authored San Francisco’s policy, told KQED. “We will continue to enforce it, continue to implement it, consistent with this court decision in the Berkeley case. We think we can do that.”

Related: Berkeley Gets Burned as Federal Appeals Court Overturns Berkeley’s Natural Gas Ban [SFNews]

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