Natural Gas Bans, Bans on Bans, and the Ninth Circuit with Gary Toman

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently struck down Berkeley, California’s ban on natural gas infrastructure in new buildings. The court ruled unanimously that the ban violates federal law. This subject is important as we will likely see more natural gas bans in the future and the Berkeley case has set a precedent for how similar cases may be treated. 

The case was brought by the California Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association, and the American Gas Association. The plaintiffs argued that Berkeley’s ban was preempted by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), which gives the federal government exclusive authority to regulate energy efficiency standards for appliances. The Ninth Circuit agreed with the plaintiffs, finding that Berkeley’s ban was “a direct regulation of energy efficiency standards for appliances.” Now, New York has implemented a natural gas ban starting in 2026. 

Listen to my interview with Gary Toman, Partner at Weinberg, Wheeler, Hudgins, Gunn & Dial LLC, as we discuss this seminal case and the impact of the court’s ruling on consumers and businesses across the country. 

Gary  has extensive experience representing corporations, banks and professionals in complex litigation and arbitration matters and business disputes. Gary has substantial experience defending corporations in a wide variety of class actions.  Gary received his J.D. from Harvard Law School. 

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This podcast is the audio companion to the Journal on Emerging Issues in Litigation. The Journal is a collaborative project between HB Litigation Conferences and the vLex Fastcase legal research family, which includes Full Court Press, Law Street Media, and Docket Alarm.

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