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Menlo Park likely to ban gas heating, stoves in some new buildings

Original post made on Jul 24, 2019

In a bid to be even more green than California at large, the Menlo Park City Council voted on July 16 to forge ahead with plans to require new buildings to be electrically heated and require some solar production on new nonresidential

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 24, 2019, 10:12 AM

Comments (20)

5 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 24, 2019 at 10:18 am

People that do a lot of cooking generally subscribe to the notion that a gas stove is better than electric, while an electric oven os better than a gas oven. I do not think forcing people to live with electric cooktops is a good solution. Requiring electric heaters and electric hot water heaters (preferable on demand) makes sense as does having people install solar panels to provide the electricity for those devices. I would avoid forcing people into something that is second best.


11 people like this
Posted by whocares
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 24, 2019 at 10:29 am

"If those buildings use natural gas, they could generate about 213,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the life of those buildings, ..."

Producing solar panel generates greenhouse gases. Hydroelectric dams generate greenhouse gasses. Coal fired generators generate greenhouse gasses.

Does anyone know how many tons of greenhouse gas emissions will be generated to produce the electricity used instead of gas, or what fraction of the 213,000 tons would actually be saved?


4 people like this
Posted by Makes Sense
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 24, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Switching cooking and heating where there are good viable alternatives to gas now makes total sense. This will give us more time, and delay worst effects of climate crisis while research continues on alternatives for airplane fuels and other green house gas sources where replacements don't exist yet.


12 people like this
Posted by Please not here
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jul 24, 2019 at 3:15 pm

As if California state laws are not so-called “green” enough,now Menlo Park has to join the likes of Berserkely in going totally over the top and banning gas heating and cooling, with discussions of banning gas from cooking. No calculations of greenhouse gas emissions from building, transporting and installing solar panels (BTW, are they still using child labor or slave labor in China to build them? Just asking). No talk of the greenhouse gasses produced by the gas and coal fired electricity generation plants. Looks like all calls were just based on 100% gas usage versus zero for all other alternatives.

What is the usual mix of power that developers use without government force or coercion being used? 50/50? Then the numbers are already half of the numbers used by our moronic City Council. And less if you add in all the other mitigating factors. How can theses people we elect be so clueless—-never mind, I already know the answer to that one. They’re politicians. Not much more to be said about that, I guess.


16 people like this
Posted by underwater
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jul 24, 2019 at 5:14 pm

Some of these posters sure sound like the same posters who were denying climate change only a couple years ago.

Yes, I'd miss a gas stovetop. My kids and grandkids will miss a lot of shoreline being underwater, much more than my loss.


9 people like this
Posted by Mark L
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 24, 2019 at 6:57 pm

While they are at it, they should limit new housing units to no more than 2 bedrooms, to encourage smaller families and lower population growth, thus less greenhouse gasses.


14 people like this
Posted by Please not here
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jul 24, 2019 at 8:46 pm

Heck, why not just go full China and dictate that families are limited to 1child only. While they’re at it, just get it over with and outlaw all cars in Menlo Park and get on with bikes. Just think of the great traffic flow! No parking spaces anywhere, just more room for bicycles. Just think of the housing density we could achieve!! No cars, all electric and 1 kid only. Sounds like a workers paradise!!


17 people like this
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jul 24, 2019 at 9:38 pm

Absolutely preposterous. I'm not sure whether it's more ridiculous than the plastic straw ban, but it's close. A large amount of inconvenience and annoyance for an utterly trivial environmental impact.


16 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 25, 2019 at 2:05 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The fatal flaw in the proposed policy is PG&E's new policy of making unannounced and prolonged shutoffs of electrical power. Without gas a building will be without any source of energy for cooking or heating.

And any reasonable architect would therefore add diesel powered generators to such buildings - a perverse outcome.


1 person likes this
Posted by underwater
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jul 25, 2019 at 7:16 am

> Without gas a building will be without any source of energy for cooking or heating.

Are there gas heaters that run without electricity? I haven't looked in a long time.


12 people like this
Posted by Howard Crittenden
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 25, 2019 at 1:54 pm

Howard Crittenden is a registered user.

Let me get this right. What is proposed is to heat buildings with electricity. On cloudy days in the middle of winter when the most heat will be consumed, where will the electricity come from? Solar panels? Wind turbines? Hot air from the council chambers? Butterflies and Unicorns? No. The electricity will come from power plants. What will power the electric power plants with? Natural gas.
Now, if you think burning natural gas to generate electricity and send it across the state to heat buildings using resistance heat coils is more efficient than burning natural gas to heat buildings. You didn't pass science 101. You are a person who believes in perpetual motion machines. Google it.
All that will be accomplished is creating more CO2 where the power plant is located rather than out the vent of the building.


6 people like this
Posted by One Solution for Aall!
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 25, 2019 at 5:30 pm

"In addition, the council agreed to the commission's recommendations to require a minimum amount of solar power on nonresidential buildings."

And what about those homes build under heritage trees that shield mandated solar panels from the sun?


10 people like this
Posted by Joesph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jul 25, 2019 at 6:23 pm

Requiring each house to have solar panels is about the least efficient and most expensive way to provide solar power compared to solar power plants, which benefit greatly from economies of scale.

Naturally, both Menlo Park and California are trying vigorously to mandate roundabout and costly measures that will achieve very little. It's almost as though our government was rather incompetent.


12 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 25, 2019 at 6:59 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

But Joseph, they're "doing something". Never mind it is pointless, will have unintended consequences and will end up actually creating more carbon emissions when power has to be generated by gas fired power plants. They're "doing something". That is what politicians love to do. Appear to "do something". Whether what they're doing will actually make a difference or just make it appear they're "doing something". It's nonsense.


8 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 25, 2019 at 7:06 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Joseph:

solar power is a jobs program. It makes work where none existed. That's all it's about. When you look at the cost and the payback period to offset that cost, not to mention the carbon impacts of producing solar panels. It is not cost effective and it doesn't help the environment when you look at the big picture.

Electric vehicles have exactly the same problem. Sure, they produce no emissions while driving, but we get 45% of our power that charges those vehicles from natural gas. Natural gas being burned to boil water, produce steam, turn turbines and generators and then transmit the power over power lines. All of these things produce a loss of some of the power generated. We'd be better served by powering the same vehicles with natural gas as the power would go directly to driving the vehicle without the attendant losses from remote generation and transmission.


Like this comment
Posted by Chris Bay
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Jul 29, 2019 at 8:07 am

[Post removed; don't post on this forum unless you can be civil.]


7 people like this
Posted by Chris Bay
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Jul 29, 2019 at 2:10 pm

At no time in the post I wrote was I not civil. I stated facts by anyone standards. I called a spade a spade. And it is to bad that things have gotten so bad that you all have to censor free speech on an opinion that doesn't match your own. I commented on what was going on in Menlo Park which includes Portola Valley and never attacked an individual person. I used a more colorful description of the insanity going on in Menlo that maybe you found objectionable. I will change that to what is going on is just plan CRAZY. In clinical terms.
When I grew up in PV and as an adult the area was primarily educated individuals with a high degree of education. We could communicate with each other without censoring or fighting with each other. I guess the Socialist/Progressives feel so threatened by any difference of opinion that it just can't be tolerated at all.
It is sad that California has deteriorated to the level we are seeing now. Oh and at least I used my real name unlike the other people that are afraid to post comments on this forum. When government no matter how small uses force to accomplishment their insane goals you can expect some push back. You should have let others comment on what I had to say, rather than take my post down. Let them be the voice of disapproval or approval. This is suppose to be a free society. Maybe a lesson in American History is where one should spend some free time.


2 people like this
Posted by Dennis Prado
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 29, 2019 at 2:18 pm

> I guess the Socialist/Progressives feel so threatened by any difference of opinion that it just can't be tolerated at all.

Nice Whine! Would you like a side of Facts with that? Oops, a side of Facts would sour your Whine, wouldn't it?

One notes your post is entirely opinion without fact. Nice that you can share your feelings - thanks! Can you share a definition for us?

> CRAZY. In clinical terms.

We'll wait.



Like this comment
Posted by Full of Gas
a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2019 at 10:45 am

Is this an upcoming episode of South Park ? Where everyone in politics is not smart, The council and mayor should be recalled, voting with feelings rather than brains. More of the stupid few trying to control the masses, this is a form of OCD This is what you get when they forget that climate is always changing, climate change has been happening since the earth was created. Oceans have risen and receded ,temps are determined by the orbit around the Sun. Not from the orbit of your emotions. In the 1960-70s the mantra was we're heading into an ice age, no money could be made off of it, then ten years later we are heating not cooling and headed for global warming then temps did not increase as they predicted and they needed a new title that could cover every part or possibility of the environment , hence Climate Change explains everything. And if you question anything they expouse they label you a climate change denier. Whole careers are betting on this farce.


1 person likes this
Posted by Brad
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 28, 2019 at 12:15 pm

Let's recognize this for the innovation it is:

the Stealth Anti-Flatulence Ordinance of 2019.

Council must be very proud of themselves.


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