HB 17 Would Keep Texans Hooked on Polluting Gas for Home Use

The gas industry is terrified that people have caught on to the fact that natural gas isn’t clean and isn’t good for the environment. Nor is it the most affordable option. Cities are taking action to help their residents chose cleaner, more affordable electric appliances.

The industry is fighting back by pushing bills – filed in at least 14 states – that would restrict cities from taking action to phase out natural gas. House Bill 17 in Texas is one of these bills and it’s very restrictive. It could even prevent local governments or regulators from offering incentives for energy efficient electric appliances or updating building codes to encourage electrification.

A growing number of people are becoming aware that natural gas is bad for the climate, bad for the health of our families and more expensive. People who are worried about climate change or the health of their families are already looking to electric appliances as a solution. Without a planned transition, some people will be left stuck with natural gas and even higher bills.

HB 17 is up for a hearing in the Texas House State Affairs Committee on Thursday, March 18.

Submit a comment now to stop this bill from being rushed through. Go to the House Public Comment Portal and select HB 17 from the list of bills and write your comment in the box. (suggested comment below)

OPPOSE HB 17 - I’m writing to urge you to push pause on HB 17. This bill would place wide-ranging restrictions on local governments, under the guise of protecting customer access to natural gas. But no Texas city has even considered banning natural gas connections.

This bill is so broad that it appears to even ban the use of incentives – such as for energy efficient appliances – and possibly even building codes.

Thanks to advances in technology – particularly heat pumps – all-electric homes are now the most affordable option for new construction. Electric homes are also healthier to live in. Natural gas appliances – especially stoves – create unhealthy indoor air pollution that causes to asthma and other respiratory diseases. Phasing out natural gas for new buildings and providing affordable solutions to retrofit existing buildings will be good for our families.

HB 17 is a bill offering a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist. But if you think it’s important to ensure that no Texas city bans natural gas, adopt a committee substitute to do that – not the overly broad and restrictive language currently in HB 17.

Please take your time on this issue. This bill does not address any emergency or urgent situation.

I look forward to hearing from you about this issue.