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Tiburon looks to ban natural-gas hookups to fight climate change

Tiburon intends to join dozens of cities nationwide that are banning natural-gas hookups in favor of electric appliances to reduce fossil-fuel dependence and greenhouse-gas emissions, even as the legality of such laws are being called into question.

At its April 19 meeting, the Town Council voted 4-0, with one vacancy, to approve mandatory all-electric construction in new and remodeled homes — as well as electric-vehicle infrastructure at all buildings — a key goal of the town’s new Climate Action Plan to reduce emissions to 50% below 1990 levels by 2030. The ordinance would extend the natural-gas ban to new nonresidential buildings in January 2026, while a separate ordinance up for consideration next year would require homeowners to switch to high-efficiency electric appliances when current gas-powered appliances need replacement.

Together the three electrification, electric-vehicle and appliance-replacement rules would reduce local greenhouse-gas emissions by 48%, according to town staff.

“It’s a great day,” said Councilmember Jon Welner, who serves on the council’s sustainability subcommittee. “It’s been a long time in the making. I am delighted we’re at the point we can begin the process of approving the reach codes,” referring to local building energy codes that “reach” beyond state minimum requirements.

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