Lawmakers, advocates press Gov. Hochul for fossil fuel ban in new construction

December 17, 2022

Originally published in Gothamist on December 15, 2022.

Lawmakers and environmental advocates urged Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday to include a statewide fossil fuel ban on all new construction in her upcoming executive budget, nearly a year after the governor announced the electrification of new buildings as a priority for her administration.

Elected officials and activists stood in front of a soon-to-be-constructed, all-electric tower in Brooklyn to press Hochul to mandate the electrification of all new buildings throughout the state via her state budget proposal, typically unveiled in January.

They are pushing for the same framework outlined in a bill from Assemblymember Emily Gallagher (D-Brooklyn) and state Sen. Brian Kavanagh (D-Manhattan and Brooklyn) that failed to pass before the end of the legislative session last June.

“Every new building that is built with gas hookups is making us poorer, sicker and closer to climate catastrophe,” Gallagher said at the rally along Flatbush Avenue, near the Barclays Center.

The bill would prohibit the combustion of fossil fuels within new construction, with the timeline varying based on how large the building is. The ban would go into effect by the end of 2023 for buildings shorter than seven stories — others would have until July 1, 2027.

“It really is an opportunity for us to put our money where our mouth is, to get serious about climate going forward and to lead the way – and show everyone else that it can be done,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, also a Brooklyn Democrat.