Bill To Prohibit Cities From Restricting Natural Gas Advances
The state Senate has passed a bill that would block efforts by cities and counties to combat climate change by limiting natural-gas use in new construction.
In an effort to reduce greenhouse gases, cities across the country have begun restricting building permits for new homes and businesses that would use natural gas.
Senate President Karen Fann says cities shouldn’t have the authority to restrict permits, since it would raise the cost burden for other utility users.
"If you ban something like a utility, that affects everybody in the state, because that infrastructure has to be paid for," Fann said. "The rate base is based on everybody that’s on that system."
But Window Rock Democrat Jamescita Peshlakai says the bill unfairly constrains local government and silences the voices of the voters.
"This bill would tie the hands of local leaders, and municipalities, in what they were elected to do as leaders in their communities," Peshlakai said.
The legislation will return to the House of Representatives, where a similar bill has already been approved.