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-   -   Berkeley bans natural gas in new buildings, the first U.S. city to do so (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=240269)

Sun Belt Sep 9, 2019 9:54 PM

Berkeley bans natural gas in new buildings, the first U.S. city to do so
 
Berkeley bans natural gas in new buildings, the first U.S. city to do so
By ALI TADAYON

Quote:

BERKELEY — Keeping its reputation of leading the country in environmental policies, Berkeley is banning natural gas in new buildings starting next year, becoming the first city in the country to do so.

The move unanimously approved by the City Council on Tuesday comes as part of Berkeley’s move to become greener and do its part to fight climate change. The city had adopted a lofty plan in 2009 to cut down its greenhouse gas emissions to 33 percent of what they were in 2000 by 2020, but the city has only managed to reduce emissions by 15 percent, said Councilwoman Kate Harrison, who proposed the ordinance.

Natural gas appliances account for 27 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, Harrison said.
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2019/07...new-buildings/

Now that is WOKE, gang.

Chef Sep 9, 2019 10:06 PM

This is really going to screw up the restaurant industry in Berkeley. Restaurants will be forced to cook with electric ranges, which are extremely impractical in commercial settings, or induction, which is very expensive.

sopas ej Sep 9, 2019 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chef (Post 8682302)
This is really going to screw up the restaurant industry in Berkeley. Restaurants will be forced to cook with electric ranges, which are extremely impractical in commercial settings, or induction, which is very expensive.

Under Berkeley's law, building owners would still be able to apply for exemptions: https://www.npr.org/2019/08/05/74505...t-climate-push

Obviously for homeowners who don't care about having a gas stove, this will be great. Electric water heaters are becoming more and more popular, so it's possible that more people will start making their homes all electric.

Sun Belt Sep 9, 2019 10:17 PM

Electricity is generated from gas fired power plants in much of the world. Europe knows this, that's why they've struck a deal with RUSSIA!!!

You can turn on your all electric range and the source is from a gas power plant in some far way dirty county/state. Forget about all the transmission lines that must be built to serve consumers...

Stay Woke, my friends.

cabasse Sep 9, 2019 10:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sun Belt (Post 8682312)
Electricity is generated from gas fired power plants in much of the world. Europe knows this, that's why they've struck a deal with RUSSIA!!!

You can turn on your all electric range and the source is from a gas power plant in some far way dirty county/state. Forget about all the transmission lines that must be built to serve consumers...

Stay Woke, my friends.


eh, even here in bf georgia, we get a 3rd of our power from nuclear, 10% from renewables, and building two additional reactors which will serve atlanta... gotta start taking steps somewhere to get away from fossil fuels, it won't all happen at once.

floor23 Sep 9, 2019 10:58 PM

not that anyone ever visited Berkeley for its food, but you would have to be a moron to believe that electric induction cooktops/ranges could replace gas cooktops/ranges and have zero effect on food quality. Not to mention that they're also less energy efficient. You wouldn't notice the difference with most crappy american food, but most Asian cuisines need to be cooked with gas (especially curries, make one on an induction vs gas and you will see the difference).

Something tells me restaurants in Berkeley will switch to using portable gas stoves to bypass this poorly thought out ordinance. Good days ahead for vendors selling butane in Berkeley.

The Chemist Sep 9, 2019 11:25 PM

This seems incredibly ill thought out. Of all the fossil fuels to go after, they go after the one that's by far the cleanest burning of all? It's stupidity like this that gives so many people a low view of environmentalists.

Sun Belt Sep 9, 2019 11:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cabasse (Post 8682362)
eh, even here in bf georgia, we get a 3rd of our power from nuclear, 10% from renewables, and building two additional reactors which will serve atlanta... gotta start taking steps somewhere to get away from fossil fuels, it won't all happen at once.

You're in favor of nuclear instead of gas fired plants? Europe is going the opposite direction [along with their refusal to use coal] -- and that's why we face the geopolitical conundrum at present. Who will supply the energy to an energy dead continent that is Europe?

bnk Sep 9, 2019 11:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Chemist (Post 8682395)
This seems incredibly ill thought out. Of all the fossil fuels to go after, they go after the one that's by far the cleanest burning of all? It's stupidity like this that gives so many people a low view of environmentalists.

I could not agree more.

accord1999 Sep 10, 2019 12:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sopas ej (Post 8682309)
Obviously for homeowners who don't care about having a gas stove, this will be great. Electric water heaters are becoming more and more popular, so it's possible that more people will start making their homes all electric.

And run headfirst into California's high electricity rates. And prayers for them if they have a time-of-use plan...

craigs Sep 10, 2019 12:34 AM

I knew when I clicked on this thread that it would focus on mockery and right-wing culture war, but I also knew there are good reasons for Berkeley and other cities to do this.

For example, the article notes the city was only able to achieve a 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over the last decade, well below its targeted 33 percent reduction, and natural gas appliances currently make up 27 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing the city's natural gas appliances over time by attrition will help the city reach its targets.

The article also notes two other good reasons to do this. First, a study showed 12 percent of childhood asthma was attributed to gas stoves used for cooking, and second, and more importantly, this move makes sense in earthquake country.

According to the article, a 2017 U.S. Geological Survey that found that a 7.0-magnitude earthquake on the Hayward fault line (which runs under Berkeley) with the epicenter in Oakland (borders Berkeley) could result in 450 large fires, and the destruction of thousands of homes, and that ruptured gas lines would be a “key fire risk factor.”

The utility that serves Berkeley, Pacific Gas & Electric, supports Berkeley and other cities switching from natural gas appliances: their spokesman told the newspaper "the company is in favor of all-electric construction" and “We welcome the opportunity to avoid investments in new gas assets that might later prove underutilized as the local governments and the state work together to realize our longterm decarbonization objectives."

Unsuprisingly, some 50 other California cities are considering making the same change. Nobody seems to oppose this, except right-wing forum culture warriors seeking to embrace fossil fuels, because MAGA.

cabasse Sep 10, 2019 12:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sun Belt (Post 8682422)
You're in favor of nuclear instead of gas fired plants? Europe is going the opposite direction [along with their refusal to use coal] -- and that's why we face the geopolitical conundrum at present. Who will supply the energy to an energy dead continent that is Europe?


nuclear contributes far less to co2 emissions than natural gas. sure it's clean burning, (but not mined in a clean way!) and i think it makes sense for restaurants to be able to apply for exemptions, but it makes sense to cut it out wherever possible.

lio45 Sep 10, 2019 1:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chef (Post 8682302)
This is really going to screw up the restaurant industry in Berkeley. Restaurants will be forced to cook with electric ranges, which are extremely impractical in commercial settings, or induction, which is very expensive.

I know you're a chef, but I had for several years one of the highest-end restaurants in this city in one of my buildings and the chef there was cooking with electric ranges. And it worked perfectly well, AFAIK. Your thoughts on this, out of curiosity?

lrt's friend Sep 10, 2019 1:15 AM

Some electricity is still generated from coal.

Here, with a cold climate, switching to 'all electricity' would be a financial disaster. Natural gas is much cheaper than heating with electricity.

pj3000 Sep 10, 2019 2:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by floor23 (Post 8682364)
n but you would have to be a moron to believe that electric induction cooktops/ranges could replace gas cooktops/ranges and have zero effect on food quality. Not to mention that they're also less energy efficient.

Electric is not less energy efficient. Electric heat is nearly 100% efficient. It's just more expensive.

pj3000 Sep 10, 2019 2:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Chemist (Post 8682395)
This seems incredibly ill thought out. Of all the fossil fuels to go after, they go after the one that's by far the cleanest burning of all? It's stupidity like this that gives so many people a low view of environmentalists.

This is part of the strategy of "electrification".

It prioritizes efficiency... and puts the ball in motion towards the sole use of renewables to power our buildings sector.

This is far beyond "environmentalists". This is high-level market transformation being developed by scientists, engineers, and business and government leaders.

kingkirbythe.... Sep 10, 2019 2:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 8682448)
I knew when I clicked on this thread that it would focus on mockery and right-wing culture war, but I also knew there are good reasons for Berkeley and other cities to do this.

For example, the article notes the city was only able to achieve a 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over the last decade, well below its targeted 33 percent reduction, and natural gas appliances currently make up 27 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing the city's natural gas appliances over time by attrition will help the city reach its targets.

The article also notes two other good reasons to do this. First, a study showed 12 percent of childhood asthma was attributed to gas stoves used for cooking, and second, and more importantly, this move makes sense in earthquake country.

According to the article, a 2017 U.S. Geological Survey that found that a 7.0-magnitude earthquake on the Hayward fault line (which runs under Berkeley) with the epicenter in Oakland (borders Berkeley) could result in 450 large fires, and the destruction of thousands of homes, and that ruptured gas lines would be a “key fire risk factor.”

The utility that serves Berkeley, Pacific Gas & Electric, supports Berkeley and other cities switching from natural gas appliances: their spokesman told the newspaper "the company is in favor of all-electric construction" and “We welcome the opportunity to avoid investments in new gas assets that might later prove underutilized as the local governments and the state work together to realize our longterm decarbonization objectives."

Unsuprisingly, some 50 other California cities are considering making the same change. Nobody seems to oppose this, except right-wing forum culture warriors seeking to embrace fossil fuels, because MAGA.

Damn right!

pj3000 Sep 10, 2019 2:50 AM

And remember, this applies to NEW construction.

More and more utility efficient programs/endeavors are seeding all-electric construction.

accord1999 Sep 10, 2019 3:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lrt's friend (Post 8682478)
Some electricity is still generated from coal.

Especially when natural gas powered appliances are normally used. Won't be surprised if in a decade, Berkeley is forced to stop people from using electric stoves between 6PM-9PM because there isn't enough electricity generation to meet peak demand in California.

Chef Sep 10, 2019 4:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 8682448)

Unsuprisingly, some 50 other California cities are considering making the same change. Nobody seems to oppose this, except right-wing forum culture warriors seeking to embrace fossil fuels, because MAGA.

I am not a right wing forum cultural warrior, I am a socialist, but I am also a pragmatist who has worked in and run restaurant kitchens for three decades. Perhaps you shouldn't paint all those who disagree with you with the same ad hominem MAGA brush. Cooking on conventional electric stoves is awful and induction burners are an expensive toy for the bourgeoisie. After we have stopped using gas for everything else, we will still probably be using it for cooking.

Quote:

Originally Posted by lio45 (Post 8682475)
I know you're a chef, but I had for several years one of the highest-end restaurants in this city in one of my buildings and the chef there was cooking with electric ranges. And it worked perfectly well, AFAIK. Your thoughts on this, out of curiosity?

The problem is the nature of the heat. When you turn a gas burner up or down you get an immediate change in the temperature of the burner. With a standard electric range the heating element gradually heats up and cools down. This means it is easier to have precise control of the temperature of your pans with gas. When you are working a saute station having your pans at the temperature you want them is important in cooking things correctly. I've worked on electric ranges before. The challenge is that you have to anticipate the speed at which they heat up or cool down, it is much more difficult and throws off the timing of cooking. Also they will still cook your pan even after you have turned them off. This means that you have to remove your pan from the range and find a place to put it while you are doing other things. That little bit of time is a big deal when you are cooking 8 or 12 pans at once. It is easier to be able to turn off the gas and leave it there. Cooking on an electric range in a restaurant is possible but it is about twice as difficult as working a gas range and requires completely relearning how to cook saute.

Cooking saute well, especially in a busy upscale restaurant, requires a lot more brain power than non-restaurant people realize. Most great fine dining saute cooks are in about the 80th percentile of intelligence or higher. One of the challenges of a head chef is to find people who are smart enough to get an advanced degree but are instead willing to work for $16 an hour in a hot, cramped, unpleasant space without breaks and live completely detached from normal life (which is why cooks tend to be immigrants or weirdos, that is where you find smart people without degrees). By changing from gas to electric and making saute harder, you now may need a saute cook in the 90th percentile of IQ rather than the 80th. That is going to make staffing the kitchen harder.


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