In a first-of-its-kind decision on the East Coast, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey recently blocked legislation that would have prohibited the use of natural gas in new construction and renovations in Brookline, a town bordering Boston.
Working with its extensive political network in the state, the UWUA challenged the gas ban and Healey overturned it on the grounds that it did not meet the state’s building and gas codes.
Passed as a by-law change by the Brookline town council, the gas ban was modeled after a Berkeley, CA, ordinance.
Meanwhile, in California, the birthplace of “electrification,” Local 132 continues the push to protect the state’s gas infrastructure.
President of Local 132, Eric Hofmann, representing 4,000 workers at SoCal Gas, recently penned an op-ed stating, in part, “We want to ensure the future of California’s energy portfolio is one that is properly balanced, affordable, reliable, resilient, and safe. Keeping our options open, including preserving a tight, leak-less infrastructure to optimize all forms of renewable energies, is a good way to dramatically reduce GHG [Greenhouse Gas] emissions. This, along with appliance efficiency programs from the State and other sectors for low-income communities can provide a meaningful pathway to a cleaner and greener California, not to mention keeping union jobs,” Hofmann wrote.