by Nathanael Johnson, Grist
Generations from now, people might react to the idea of piping gas into houses the same way we now think of burning coal in the fireplace for heat: as a relic of a less-advanced and soot-filled time.
The turning point came earlier this year, when Berkeley, California, became the first city in the country to ban natural-gas in newly constructed buildings in July. Within a few weeks, four other cities in California passed their own rules to encourage buildings to use only electricity, which means no gas for heating or cooking. Two more cities, Menlo Park and Santa Monica, followed suit last week. At least 50 California cities — including the biggies: Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, and Sacramento — are considering similar plans. And the trend has crept out of California, with Seattle and Brookline, Massachusetts mulling their own proposals.
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