PA House Passes Bill To Prevent Local Government From Adopting All-Electric Building Codes

The Energy Choice legislation (House Bill 1947) passed the state House this past week by a vote of 118-83. That is significantly short of the 134 votes needed to override a veto by the Governor who previously indicated that he would take that action for the current version of the bill.

            The bill preempts the ability of local governments to require the use of all-electric energy in buildings. This would include preventing local municipalities and counties from banning energy sources like natural gas, heating oil, and propane within their jurisdictions.

            In the days leading up to today’s vote, there were negotiations between the Governor’s office and Representative Tim O’ Neal, the author of the legislation.

Although some progress had been made, agreement fell short pursuant to the demand by the Democrats that a separate bill be voted that encouraged the use of solar energy in the Commonwealth. Groups representing local government groups and environmentalists have been opposing the “ban the ban” proposal.

            “Some major U.S. cities have enacted or have proposed laws to ban or curb the use of fossil fuels in new homes and buildings,” said Rep. Tim O’Neal (R-Washington), prime sponsor of the bill. “It is important that people have the opportunity to choose their energy source and that a wide variety of options are available. By enacting this law, Pennsylvania would join states such as Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kansas and Louisiana in preserving choice.”

            The bill now goes to the State Senate, which earlier this year passed its own version of the bill.

It is unclear what steps will be taken next passage of this legislation is a top priority for PPA. We will continue to advocate with the leadership of the General Assembly to act on this issue in the coming weeks.


— AP: House Passes Bill To Head Off All-Electric Building Codes

— The Center Square: State Lawmakers Looking To Stop PA Municipalities From Banning Natural Gas Use — PG – Laura Legere: Push Is On To Switch To Energy Efficient Electrical Appliances; Each Flame Fed By Natural Gas, Propane Or Oil In Furnaces, Water Heaters, Stoves A Small Source Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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