Stakes are high for
city gas utility’s future
When Richmond City Council indicates an intention to eliminate the Richmond Gas Works, as it did with a resolution on Sept. 13, that decision does not stop at the city line. Tens of thousands of Henrico and Chesterfield residents and businesses also are served by and depend on that municipal public service utility.
The unanimous resolution promised a number of aggressive actions by the city to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, including recognition of the municipal utility as “an obstacle to the city’s goal of net-zero emissions.”
Utilities should have a legal duty to provide service. I was their customer when I lived within the city in a North Side condo, and then discovered they still were my service provider out here in western Henrico. Getting rid of my gas furnace and hot water heater will cost $10,000 or more. This is a taking.
It also is a direct consequence of all the promises made by the General Assembly. In two years, several bills have made the elimination of natural gas for any use a major state goal.