Cooking Gasless

Little by little, cities and towns across the US are enacting stricter regulations to help the environment. Sometimes they offer incentives to builders to construct better spaces. Rebates and tax credits are a big part as well for getting alternative energy into real use. On the opposite side is eliminating the use of machines and devices that pollute. New York City has come close to making that reality this past week.

Emily Pontecorvo over at Grist has the details.

The New York City Council voted to pass a bill on Wednesday that will address the Big Apple’s biggest source of planet-warming emissions: the fossil fuels burned in its buildings. The new law will prevent building developers from installing fuel-burning systems in new buildings and most gut renovations starting in 2024, forcing them to instead design buildings with all-electric heating, hot water, and cooking appliances. Mayor Bill de Blasio supports the legislation and is expected to sign it.


It is not as widely-known as it should be that gas stoves are not the wonder appliances they're cracked up to be. In fact, burning natural gas inside your home has a large drawback. The exhaust remains in your home. The Atlantic covered this last year. It is law that if you have a gas-fired HVAC system in your home that it exhausts to the outside. Your gas stove? No such regulation exists.

Heating and hot water systems alone are the source of about 42 percent of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions. They also produce significant local air pollution. A peer-reviewed study published in May found that fuel combustion in buildings in New York City led to an estimated 1,114 premature deaths in 2017, the most recent year for which data was available, and cost $12.5 billion in health impacts. 

That 42% amount is bonkers. The size of NYC is nothing to shake a stick at. (I should know since I've lived in NY all my life). When nearly half of the city's greenhouse gas is from a single source, it makes perfect sense to work to curb it. So not only is natural gas awful for the environment, it is also not good for your health.

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