California cities banned natural gas in new buildings. Texas wants to outlaw those bans.

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Construction workers work on an office building in Austin. An early draft of Austin's climate action plan would have virtually eliminated gas use in new buildings by 2030, an example of the type of city rules that state lawmakers are seeking to prevent. Credit: Allie Goulding/The Texas Tribune

Texas lawmakers are quickly moving a bill forward that attempts to stop cities from banning natural gas as a fuel source for new construction and utility services — a trend in progressive California cities that some state lawmakers say would restrict consumer choices if Texas cities move to do the same.

At least a dozen similar bills have been filed in states including Kansas, Minnesota and Ohio. But in Texas, the bill has been pushed as a response to the power outages caused by last month’s winter storm.

Now labeled a priority for lawmakers, House Bill 17 would bar cities and municipalities from banning, limiting, restricting or “discriminating” against the type or source of energy used for utility connections. It was included in a slate of bills that the Texas House State Affairs Committee quickly voted out of committee Thursday that are intended to address the storm-related power outages, which left more than 4.8 million people without electricity and killed dozens of people in Texas.