Natural gas may be on the way out in Massachusetts.

State utility regulators on Wednesday issued a sweeping ruling that sets a framework for reducing the use of gas for heating as part of a larger strategy to address climate change.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities rejected arguments from utilities and the gas industry that had urged the use of “renewable natural gas” and hydrogen as lower-carbon alternatives to natural gas. Instead, the department ruled that the state should encourage a transition to using electricity for heating and other functions gas currently serves.

Massachusetts is the first state to take such a clear step to phase out natural gas, but it likely won’t be the last. At least 11 other states (California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington) as well as Washington, D.C., have ongoing regulatory cases that are exploring the future of natural gas.

The decision “has the potential to be one of the most transformative decisions in Massachusetts climate history,” said a statement from Kyle Murray, director of state program implementation at Acadia Center, a Maine-based environmental advocacy group.

To read the full article from Inside Climate News, click here.