In the absence of meaningful federal climate policy in the United States, states and local governments are poised to make a substantial contribution to decarbonization efforts. At present, over 70 local jurisdictions and two states have enacted building electrification policies that limit the use of natural gas in buildings and seek to “electrify” the building sector and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. In this case study, we examine building electrification policy passed in the City of Bellingham, Washington, in early 2022. We apply concepts from policy innovation and diffusion scholarship and propose a conceptual model that identifies factors likely to help or hinder electrification policymaking in local governments across the United States in the future.

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