The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) has taken another step towards environmentalism, and it’s not good for homeowners or residents. The BAAQMD voted to ban gas-powered water heaters and furnaces starting in 2027, where water heaters will be the first ones to be prohibited. Furnaces will follow suit in 2029. They are also banning commercial water heaters that emit nitrogen oxide emissions in 2031. The BAAQMD states the need for this regulation is to reduce harmful air pollution and uphold the public’s health.
The Air District Board voted today to strengthen building appliance rules to reduce harmful NOx and PM2.5 emissions, protecting public health and air quality. New regulations will phase out NOx-emitting natural gas furnaces and water heaters. Learn more: https://t.co/greehEKlHr pic.twitter.com/fWh5DhLUuR
— Bay Area Air Quality (@AirDistrict) March 15, 2023
The Hill reports that the only zero-NOx emitting appliances on the market are electric ones. Therefore, the folks in the Bay Area will have to make a costly switch to electric appliances. Workers will have to install electrical connections and renovations for those living in older homes. It’ll be an immense burden for low-income families who can’t afford these expenses. Not to mention, older homes will need significant electrical upgrades to handle the massive electrical output an electric furnace requires.
Liberal Area to Phase Out Natural Gas Furnaces and Water Heaters https://t.co/X27UBizY9b
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) March 16, 2023
The Air District claims 1.8 million water heaters and furnaces within the Bay Area cause pollution and endanger the health of residents. They contend that eliminating nitrogen oxide emissions from gas-powered appliances will prevent several premature deaths and respiratory illnesses each year. However, the Air District isn’t providing reliable evidence, given that science has already shown electric appliances and cars don’t help the environment better than natural gas alternatives.
The takeaway is that the democratic government officials in California are overstepping personal liberties and making restrictions that have negligible environmental impact. It’s concerning to see lawmakers with a vague sense of science peddling universal regulations on baseless claims that communities of color will suffer the consequences. Instead of promising drastic measures, why not encourage the private sector to innovate, research incentives, and explore other alternative energies to improve the air quality and preserve public health, instead of antagonizing constituents who only wish to keep warm during the winter?