Written on: July 18, 2023
Earlier this week the Eugene, Oregon City Council voted to repeal the city’s gas ban ordinance. By the council’s own admission, this was primarily in response to the Ninth Circuit ruling in California Restaurant Association v. City of Berkeley. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is the largest of the thirteen U.S. Courts of Appeals, whose jurisdiction covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. In short, the court found that Berkeley’s gas ban ordinance was preempted by the federal Energy Policy & Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, which preempts state and local governments from setting standards “concerning the energy efficiency, energy use, or water use of” products regulated by EPCA. Given the legal implications this ruling may have on other bans similar to Berkeley’s, multiple municipalities throughout the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit have either rescinded/suspended their gas bans, or are actively considering taking similar action.
Eugene followed suit with five other municipalities in California and officially repealed the gas ban previously adopted by the city. Four other municipalities in the Golden State are actively considering taking similar actions in the wake of the ruling. Eugene’s decision, however, was not solely due to the ruling. Even before the decision was passed down, Eugene citizens had led a successful campaign to push the final implementation of the city’s gas ban to the ballot in November of this year.
Consumers are pushing back on incredulous attempts to “electrify everything,” and the Ninth Circuit decision stands on decades of federal precedent. Given this, we can expect to see more municipalities take similar actions as we have seen across California, and now in Oregon. For more information, please contact NPGA’s Manager of State Government Affairs, Austin Wicker, at firstname.lastname@example.org.