California restaurant group sues over Berkeley’s natural gas ban

November 22, 2019

BERKELEY, CA – Berkeley’s 1st in the Nation Ban on Natural Gas in new construction, may end up ending the region’s fine dining, according to a California Trade Association suing the city on behalf of restaurants.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for Northern California, the California Restaurant Association argues that Berkeley bypassed state and federal regulations when it approved the ban.

And while the ban currently applies only to some new construction, the association worries that it could be the start of efforts to outlaw the use of natural gas in existing structures.

The trade group worries such a move would hurt restaurants that rely on gas for cooking particular types of food, whether it be flame-seared meats, charred vegetables, or the use of heat from flames under a wok, according to the lawsuit.

Berkeley approved legislation in July.

It goes into effect January 1st 2020.

Other cities are considering similar legislation.

The restaurant trade group said it’s irresponsible to ban natural gas given the electrical outages.

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