It’s hard to think of a profession where speed matters more than it does in a restaurant. It may not be something customers think about, but every successful chef knows that running a restaurant kitchen requires creating meals with a wide variety of tastes and textures – and doing it fast.
So, try telling these kitchen pros that they have to continue to do it all, every day, without a flame.
That’s the message behind an increasing number of bans by cities on natural gas infrastructure in new construction.
Proponents of these bans argue that natural gas is a contributor to climate change and electrification is a better option. In California, they argue for electrification and limits on the availability of natural gas in spite of scheduled electricity blackouts that are forecast to last another 10 years. Those blackouts, which have forced businesses to close at times and led to thousands of dollars in perishable goods at restaurants, are blamed on wildfire risk. One of the state’s largest utilities has turned electricity off time after time to large regions of the state this year, arguing it wants to mitigate that fire risk.
Yet, instead of putting the brakes on natural gas bans, numerous cities in California and elsewhere in the country have passed such restrictions over the past few months. The city of Berkeley, California was the first in the nation to pass such a ban. The California Restaurant Association is now suing that city, making points not just about cooking speed, but also foods that just can’t be prepared the same way on an electric cooktop – like flame-seared foods. Read more, here.
Even though federal law appears to prohibit such bans, the California Energy Commission is encouraging them, as detailed here, in a story we shared on Thursday, December 12th: California regulators clear way for natural gas bans to take effect.
With cities, state agencies, businesses and environmental groups involved, this fight will take a lot longer than the time it takes to sear tonight’s meat and vegetables.
The Daily Prep Team