The largest U.S. natural gas utility on Friday pushed back against California's efforts to phase out gas, asking a state court to force the revision of a document dealing with the transition to cleaner methods to generate power and heat buildings.
In a court filing, Southern California Gas Co said a state law passed in 2013 required the California Energy Commission to analyze every four years how to maximize the benefits of natural gas. A report written by the agency earlier this year does the opposite and should be vacated, the court documents allege. The complaint, filed in state court in Orange County, is the natural gas industry's latest attempt to challenge efforts in states with strict environmental rules to address the fossil fuel's contribution to climate change. In the last year, 30 California cities have passed measures to reduce the use of natural gas for heating and cooking.
"Phasing out natural gas is fundamentally inconsistent with the CEC's statutory mandate," SoCalGas said in the court filing. The unit of Sempra Energy was joined in the action by natural gas transportation fuels company Clean Energy Fuels Corp and members of the Utility Workers Union of America.
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