Austin – As cities such as Berkeley, California are banning the use of natural gas in residential homes and commercial buildings, Rep. Dean announced the filing of House Bill 1501, “the Natural Gas Protection Act,” to ensure that does not happen here in Texas and to protect consumers’ access to natural gas.
“These local bans on natural gas are misguided and have no place in Texas,” said Rep. Dean.
Not only is natural gas production a vital part of the economy in Texas, it is also often the more environmentallyfriendly choice. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, almost 50% of Texas homes use natural gas or propane for heating, cooking, or other home appliances. And households that use natural gas save nearly $900 per year compared with families using all-electric appliances, according to the American Gas Association. The Center for Energy and Climate Solutions actually recommends replacing electric appliances with natural gas appliances as a way to reduce pollution.
“Government should not remove consumers’ access to the affordable, reliable energy of natural gas. Especially now, we should be expanding consumers’ options and supporting all aspects of our state’s economy. A ban on natural gas would do the opposite.” Rep. Dean added, “The energy industry in Texas has already been hit hard this past year. We need to support this industry that powers our daily lives, not kick them while they’re down. Plus, consumers want more, not fewer, affordable and energy-efficient fuel options, like natural gas. I am proud that HB 1501 protects both consumer choice and the natural gas industry here in Texas.”
Specifically, HB 1501 would prevent local governments from prohibiting or restricting the use of natural gas or propane in existing structures and new construction. The bill would apply to both residential and commercial buildings. As many as 50 cities across the country have studied or passed local natural gas or propane bans.