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NC lawmakers give final approval to a bill on local natural gas bans

 North Carolina lawmakers want to prohibit local governments from banning natural gas for home cooking, heating and other appliances.
David Boraks
/
WFAE
North Carolina lawmakers want to prohibit local governments from banning natural gas for home cooking, heating and other appliances.

North Carolina lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that prohibits local governments from banning natural gas for heaters and other appliances.

The House on Monday voted 57 - 46 to approve a revised version of House Bill 220 that also passed the Senate. It says cities and counties may not adopt ordinances that restrict "the connection, reconnection, modification, or expansion of an energy service based upon the type or source of energy to be delivered."

The bill comes in response to a movement in California, where 50 local governments have banned gas in new construction and renovations. Those rules are aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

But gas producers and utilities have been fighting back by lobbying for bills like North Carolina's. At least 19 other states have now banned local governments from following California's lead, according to analysts at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Backers of the North Carolina bill say they want consumers to continue to have a choice of energy sources.

The bill's primary sponsors are Republican Reps. Dean Arp of Union County, Charles Miller of Brunswick County, Jason Saine of Lincoln County and John Szoka of Cumberland County.

The bill now goes to Gov . Roy Cooper, who has not said whether he will sign it.

Copyright 2021 WFAE