California faces a crossroads on the path to 100% clean energy

by Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times

Bill Brand spent two decades fighting to get the waterfront power plant in Redondo Beach torn down and replaced with a public park. Until recently, he was sure he had won.

Regulators had set a deadline of Dec. 31, 2020, for owner AES Corp. to shutter the hulking power plant, whose smokestacks are bordered by a marina, six acres of wetlands and some of the most densely populated neighborhoods on the California coast. Plans were coming together for the city to purchase half the site — a triumph for Brand, whose campaign for open space and cleaner air had fueled his rise from activist to Redondo Beach mayor.

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Cities are banning natural gas in new homes, citing climate change

by Irina Ivanova, CBS News

A growing number of U.S. cities are taking a stand against gas stoves, long billed as a more convenient way to cook, because of their contribution to climate change.

Since June, a dozen cities have banned natural gas equipment in new buildings. Berkeley, California, was the first, followed in the state by San Jose, Mountain View, Santa Rosa and Brisbane. A half-dozen other cities have passed laws to strongly encourage all-electric construction without banning fossil fuels outright.

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Berkeley downtown

Berkeley first city in California to ban natural gas in new buildings

By Emilie Raguso,

The city of Berkeley will no longer allow natural gas pipes in many new buildings starting Jan. 1, 2020. It’s the first city in California to pass such a law, officials said.

The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night in favor of the legislation, put forward by downtown Councilwoman Kate Harrison’s office and council co-sponsors Cheryl Davila, Ben Bartlett and Sophie Hahn.

Public support was also unanimous during 45 minutes of comment from community members and representatives of the University of California’s Office of the President (UCOP), energy giant PG&E and the Sierra Club, among others who spoke.

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