The Sierra Club Asks Restaurants Not to Sue Berkeley Over Gas Law

Bob Butler
January 23, 2020 - 2:01 pm

The Sierra Club is asking the California Restaurant Association to drop its lawsuit against the city of Berkeley. The CRA filed the suit against the city last year after it banned natural gas in all new construction, claiming that restaurants depend on gas and banning it would hurt business.

However, the Sierra Club disagrees.

“You know, it’s true that often if you’re a pizza restaurant, you know, gas ovens are seen as the norm,” said Matt Gough, with the Sierra Club. “But we’ve come a long way in terms of cooking technology in the past decade, and so there are all electric options for restaurants to choose from.”

The Sierra Club wants the suit dropped because burning natural gas is harmful for the environment.

“In California about 17% of our greenhouse gas emissions come from the burning of gas inside of our homes, so things like space heaters, water heaters and our cooking appliances,” said Gough.

He said states should be doing more to fight climate change.

“We’ve seen from the wildfires and droughts that our state cannot handle increasing temperatures, and we need to be adopting policies in order to address this issue,” said Gough.

But the CRA said that banning natural gas would make more people negatively affected by PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs as it would be difficult to cook when electricity is turned off.