On the heels of some very bitter cold temperatures throughout the state, WA State House Democrats have revived a bill that would ban much of the use of natural gas in the state.

  House Bill 1589 revived

The bill did not pass in 2023, but Olympia Democrat rep. Beth Doglio, the primary sponsor, was able to garner enough support to push it through the house by a vote of 52-45.

The bill would ban any natural gas (or energy) company that serves more than 500,000 customers from connecting any new natural gas lines to any residential or commercial (new) structures. There would be some limited exceptions for certain manufacturing, medical care, correctional and military facilities.

It would specifically affect the state's largest utility, Puget Sound Energy. According to MyNorthwest.com and KIRO:

"The bill says the ban applies to any new construction after June 30th, 2023. If approved, it would take effect immediately, due to an emergency clause included in the measure."

According to KIRO, Building Industry Association of WA President Greg Lane said:

“Not even two weeks have passed since thousands of Washington families fought bitter cold winter weather causing PSE to ask them to curb their energy use to reduce strain on the grid. Removing natural gas as a source of heating homes and water will cause our electrical grid to fail."

He was referring to the bulletins issued by PSE and some other utilities recently asking consumers to reduce energy usage due to strains on the energy and electrical grid. Many of these were posted on social media, including Facebook.

Republican opponents warn about the threats to the energy grid, possibly even collapse, caused by this push towards what they call whole home electrification.

Cascade Natural Gas, another energy supplier, services some 300,000 customers across WA and OR,  and Avista serves about 410,000-including natural gas consumers.