How a natural gas ban in Seattle could affect housing market

Sep 10, 2019, 5:50 AM | Updated: 12:05 pm

natural gas ban Seattle...

Seattle continues to mull a ban on natural gas in new homes. (Pexels)


As Seattle City Council mulls a ban on natural gas in all new homes and buildings, it’s left many wondering how that would affect the city’s already-expensive housing market.

“I don’t think it’ll have a consequence on the availability [of housing], but it’ll have a consequence on the cost,” Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner told KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross.

Seattle weighs ban on natural gas in homes and buildings

According to Gardner, one of Seattle’s biggest issues with housing relates to the fact that the city isn’t building enough new homes to keep up with its expanding population. And when that’s already limited by a scarcity of land, skilled labor, and more, a ban on natural gas — it throws another wrench into the spokes.

“If you start changing these things, it’s essentially gonna make it even more expensive for the builder, and that’s going to be problematic,” he described.

That tracks with similar concerns shared recently by the Seattle-King County Building and Constructions Trade Council.

The council’s executive secretary Monty Anderson points out that while a natural gas ban seems like a good method for reducing emissions, it fails to take into account the people who would be affected most.

How would a natural gas ban actually work in Seattle?

“There is not one mention [in the legislation] of the impact to the suppliers, the companies that (work in natural gas), or jobs,” he told KIRO Radio’s Candy, Mike and Todd Show. “And if it we’re looking at things through a lens where it doesn’t show any economic impacts to the people and businesses in Seattle, we’re using the wrong lamp. So, yeah, this is a little out of left field even for Seattle, to tell you the truth.”

This comes not long after San Francisco introduced it’s own legislation for a ban, and after Berkeley became the first U.S. city to actually pass one. San Francisco City Supervisor Vallie Brown estimates that natural gas in buildings generates 44 percent of the city’s emissions.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave Ross

trump shooter motive...

Dave Ross

Ross: Motive of Trump shooter not important, how he got an AR-15 is

As much as we would all like to understand the motive of the Trump shooter, I don’t see us doing much with that information.

5 days ago

kamala harris...

KIRO Newsradio staff

From the audience: Kamala Harris needs to lead next generation of Democrats

Joe Biden merely needs to hand over the reins of power to his second in command, Vice President Kamala Harris, and sooner rather than later.

10 days ago


KIRO Newsradio staff

From the audience: How my father’s age makes me scared for Joe Biden

A KIRO Newsradio listener shared his views: As I watch my dad, sometimes what I see in me – I feel it's time for Joe Biden to "let it go."

11 days ago

Image: A driver used a fake "dummy" passenger so he could drive in the HOV lane on I-405 in June 20...

Dave Ross

Dave Ross dedicates one of his hits to the commuter caught with a dummy

It happened again last month: A commuter was caught in the carpool lane with a very lifelike dummy. Although, it did not fool the police.

14 days ago

biden trump presidential debate...

Dave Ross

Ross: Now I get my say on Biden, Trump during the presidential debate

The real catastrophe was that Biden’s terrible performance seems to have caused everyone to forget this little exchange with Trump during the debate.

19 days ago

ten commandments louisiana...

Dave Ross

Ross: As Louisiana requires the Ten Commandments in classrooms, don’t limit anti-sin campaigns to schools

The State of Louisiana has passed a law requiring the Ten Commandments to be posted in every school in the state.

25 days ago

How a natural gas ban in Seattle could affect housing market