New York State To Ban Fossil Fuels In New Buildings

State Law Banning New Oil, Gas Hookups is First in Nation

Published May 2, 2023


Climate and Energy

State Law Banning New Oil, Gas Hookups is First in Nation

State Law Banning New Oil, Gas Hookups is First in Nation

In a landmark victory for the state’s grassroots climate movement, New York will soon become the first state in the nation to enact a law banning fossil fuels in new buildings — a stark contrast to industry-led efforts in states across the country to preemptively halt efforts to transition away from fossil fuels.

Governor Kathy Hochul and legislative leaders included the ban in their 2023-24 state budget, announced Monday. The policy will take effect in 2026 for buildings under seven stories and in 2029 for taller ones; a one year delay from advocates’ demands. A final vote to enact the law is expected this week. 

In response, Food & Water Watch Northeast Region Director Alex Beauchamp issued the following statement:

“New York State is leading the way in ending America’s devastating addiction to fossil fuels. The rest of the country must now catch up. New York’s bold move to become the first state in the nation to prohibit fossil fuels in new construction is undeniably huge. New Yorkers are resisting fossil fuels everywhere they pop up, from the power plants that pollute our air to the pipelines that put our communities in harm’s way. Now buildings can be a part of that solution. With all-electric construction, New York will forge the way to a green energy economy with better jobs, cheaper bills, and cleaner, healthier communities.”

New York City passed its own ban on fossil fuels in new buildings last year that moves on a faster timeline. It will take effect in 2024 for buildings under seven stories.

Buildings are New York’s largest polluters, accounting for 32% of the state’s climate-heating greenhouse gas emissions. Studies from RMI found that New York state and New York City’s all-electric building laws will together prevent up to 6.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution by 2040 — the equivalent of keeping more than 1.3 million cars off the road. 

New York’s all-electric building law will also create clean energy jobs, promote public safety, and reduce the deadly indoor air pollution that takes almost 2,000 lives annually in New York and is responsible for nearly 20% of childhood asthma cases in the state.

The victory comes on the heels of a fierce grassroots advocacy campaign led by Food & Water Watch, New York Communities for Change, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, NYPIRG and Earthjustice.

Press Contact: Phoebe Galt [email protected]