Climate activism is growing in the Hudson Valley, including in the city of Beacon, where the Beacon Climate Action Now (BCAN) began five months ago. It started with three people and has since grown to more than 50 members. They’re pushing for legislation that would ban gas-burning appliances in all new buildings that go up in Beacon.
As the saying goes, the heart of every home is the kitchen, and at the center of one kitchen visited was an induction stove. The appliance is also central to Beacon Climate Action Now’s latest efforts.
“An induction stove is extremely quick. It’s super efficient,” said Blair Patterson, a member of BCAN. “It doesn’t allow benzyne to leak into the air like gas stoves.”
Patterson, an environmental activist, and others with BCAN door-knock to collect signatures for their petition. They want all new buildings to be gas-free.
What You Need To Know
- Beacon Climate Action Now has collected more than 400 signatures for their petition to ban gas-burning appliances in all new buildings that go up in Beacon
- They want homeowners to consider induction stoves over gas stovetops because it would reduce the amount of benzyne that leaks into the air
- BCAN hopes to put pressure on Gov. Kathy Hochul to revisit and pass a statewide bill called the “All Electric Buildings Act” to ban gas hook-ups in new buildings in New York
“Most people love cooking with a cast-iron skillet, and people are very concerned that they’re not going to be able to use a cast-iron skillet on an induction stove,” Patterson said. “People also are really in love with their gas stoves, because they like the relationship and the interaction they have with cooking on a gas top.”
If the City Council passes the bill, it would make Beacon the third city in New York to do so, after Ithaca and New York City passed similar laws requiring newly built homes to be all-electric.
“There’s a 42% higher chance of kids developing asthma in homes that have gas hook-ups,” Patterson said. “So a huge benefit to having an induction stove is eliminating the occurrence of gas and benzyne leaking into the atmosphere of your home.”
BCAN members don’t want to sit on the sidelines as the climate crisis worsens.
“I’ve never actually felt that kind of power before," Patterson said. "And so being part of this group has allowed me to feel, that there’s power in numbers, there’s power in care, there’s power in passion.”
They have collected more than 400 signatures for their petition. They want elected officials to hear their concerns and act.
“For us as a group, as well as locals, to stand up at the City Council meeting to show support of the gas ban, and also to show support of long-term legislation change that puts pressure on the state government, to then implement broad scale change across the state,” Patterson said.
BCAN hopes that by passing a gas-ban bill, it will pave the way for other cities across New York to do the same. And that it will put pressure on Gov. Kathy Hochul to revisit and pass a statewide bill called the “All Electric Buildings Act” to ban gas hook-ups in new buildings in New York.
Meanwhile, there are cost-saving benefits to having an induction stove instead of a gas one. A recent study done by Win Climate, a think tank that focuses on data science and climate policies, shows an average new single-family house built in New York would save more than $900 a year by being all-electric, instead of relying on a gas burner or a boiler.