‘Barrier To Entry’: Dem Mayor Bans Fossil Fuel Use In New City Buildings, Eyes Residential Buildings Next

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Nick Pope Contributor
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Democratic Boston Mayor Michelle Wu signed an executive order Monday banning new construction or renovations of municipal buildings that would use fossil fuels, according to the Boston Herald.

Monday’s executive order is part of Wu’s broader efforts to implement a similar ban on fossil fuel use in new residential buildings, according to the Boston Herald. Wu stated that “Boston will continue using every possible tool” to counter climate change, according to a Monday press release, but a de facto ban on fossil fuel use in new residential developments could impose higher costs, Greg Vasil, CEO of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The potential ban on fossil fuel hookups in the city’s new residential buildings “is going to be a real barrier to entry” for developers “to build what they want to build in Boston” if enacted, Vasil told the DCNF. “It would definitely drive up costs,” Vasil continued, adding that “there’s a desire to satisfy campaign promises without understanding the economic situation.” (RELATED: Boston Mayor Sends Police List Of Critics And Protesters)

“Lots of my members are looking to do projects outside of Boston, and they’re really concerned,” he said. “It’s a different philosophy with this administration: ‘this is what we’re doing, and here we go.”

Wu won the mayor’s election in November 2021, in part by running on a promise to deliver Boston a “green new deal.” Her administration intends to apply for a Massachusetts state program that will permit ten communities in the state to prohibit gas hookups in new buildings, according to the Boston Herald.

In April, Boston’s city council approved an ordinance which requires new residential buildings in the city to feature electrical wiring that will allow for future conversion to electricity and to connect to solar power, according to the Boston Herald. Wu’s office estimates that around 70% of the city’s overall emissions are attributable to buildings, according to the Monday press release announcing the signing of the executive order.

“Mayor Wu is demonstrating her commitment to accelerating climate action by requiring that all new municipal buildings and major renovations operate without fossil fuels, reducing emissions from Boston’s building sector while creating high-quality jobs, improving public health and quality of life, and advancing racial and economic justice,” the press release said.

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