The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to overturn Berkeley’s ban on natural gas stoves could threaten dozens of similar restrictions nationwide.
A three-judge panel sided with the California Restaurant Association in voting unanimously that the city’s 2019 ban on gas stoves ran afoul of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, which they said preempted a local gas stove ban — a ruling that now puts into doubt the scores of similar bans advanced across the nation in recent years.
The appellate court decision may have “ripple effects” for gas appliance restrictions nationwide and provide a road map of sorts for industry and consumer groups looking to halt such policies, said Rob Rains, a senior vice president at the independent research firm Washington Analysis.
The ruling “does provide a playbook for opponents of these policies to kind of ‘storm the walls,’ so to speak, and seek for them to be thrown out as well,” he said in an interview.
More than 100 U.S. cities and localities have moved to restrict gas-powered appliances, including 75 cities in California alone.
Monday’s ruling only technically applies to states that fall under the 9th Circuit’s jurisdiction: California, Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, as well as Guam and the Mariana Islands. But it sets the stage for a challenge to regulations in other states. Even if bans are upheld by courts, any such ruling would create a split between circuits, raising the prospect of the Supreme Court weighing in for the whole country.
“The faster that you have these potentially split decisions about these types of policies in different circuit courts, it creates a ripeness, which could make it more attractive for the Supreme Court to potentially take up this issue,” he said. Read more…