The mayor of Ann Arbor, Michigan, installed a new gas line and gas-powered fireplace in his home despite his push for the city to phase out fossil fuel usage and boost electrification.
City permits show Christopher Taylor, a Democrat who has served as mayor of the city since 2014, installed the gas line to hook up to his new fireplace earlier this year, MLive reported. Taylor has been a strong proponent of climate policies, including the so-called A2Zero carbon neutrality plan that calls on residents to buy electric vehicles, install solar panels and rely less on fossil fuels.
“Ann Arbor is not just a basic place. And so, it’s our pleasure to. And our drive to focus on affordability and equity and, you know, a moral imperative to take community climate action and sustainability,” Taylor told local radio station WEMU in August.
“I’ve knocked thousands of doors and talked to thousands of people, and people understand that we are in a climate crisis. They know that we can’t solve it alone. But they also know that it is our moral imperative to do our part.”
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Ann Arbor’s government adopted the A2Zero plan in June 2020. Among its provisions, the plan asks residents to voluntarily electrify their homes, cutting off natural gas reliance.
“The A2Zero Plan focuses on voluntary electrification,” a fact sheet of the plan states.
“The Plan proposes actions that support all new buildings being electric (as well as more efficient), working with homeowners, businesses, and building managers to support voluntary conversion to electric when appliances are being replaced; providing incentives to support the transition to electric … and investing in renewable energy at scale so as to drive down the cost of electric,” it adds.
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Taylor has advocated for the $1 billion plan and a tax to pay for it, according to MLive.
“People like the mayor are asking everyone else to go full electric. Yet, he’s protecting himself,” Jason Hayes, the director of environmental policy for the Michigan-based free market think tank Mackinac Center for Public Policy, told Fox News Digital in an interview. “There is this two-tiered system.
“The rest of us are the ones — the peons and the average people that sit out in flyover country — we’re the ones that worry about those power outages.”
Hayes added that the green transition to wind and solar from fossil fuels pushed by Ann Arbor and other governments nationwide could threaten the reliability of the electric grid in years to come. He characterized Taylor and others as part of an “advancing front of smug” that is pushing dangerous energy policies.
“We’re more in danger from an advancing front of smug than we are any sort of climate change or anything like that,” Hayes said. “Because these sorts of decisions to go 100% electric at the same time as we’re shutting down everything that’s reliable in terms of electricity production — that’s just plain dangerous.”
Taylor was recently invited to the White House for a roundtable with Vice President Kamala Harris and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. Afterward, he tweeted that the meeting focused on “housing expansion, water safety, infrastructure, climate, climate, and climate.”
He was also chosen as a special adviser on the Global Executive Committee on Climate Action, an international green group.
Taylor’s office did not respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.