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Eugene ordinance would ban natural gas in new housing

A lower-carbon natural gas flame burns on a stovetop at a NW Natural testing facility.
Cassandra Profita
/
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Councilors in support of the ordinance are worried about potential environmental and air pollutant consequences of natural gas.

A Eugene ordinance could prohibit natural gas use in new housing. It’s part of an effort to cut carbon emissions.

City Council voted 5-3 on Wednesday to advance the ordinance to a public hearing. If enacted, it would affect residential developers starting in June 2023.

Most Councilors cited reports indicating electric utilities would be as cheap and more efficient, but Councilor Mike Clark said the change would push developers away.

Danny Noonan is with the Breach Collective, an advocacy group. He says this is a win for activists, even though it will have little impact on total emissions.

“We hope that this is just the beginning of building electrification policy in Eugene, and we hope they stay the course and move expeditiously on the timelines they set themselves.”

Council delayed voting on commercial and industrial developments until the fall. They will also discuss decarbonizing existing buildings.

Nathan Wilk is a KLCC Reporting Intern through the Snowden Internship Program. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Wilk began volunteering in radio at 11-years-old, and he has served as a radio DJ and host on multiple local stations. Today, he is a Journalism undergraduate at the University of Oregon with a focus in local artistic communities. In his free time, Wilk enjoys writing music and reading old horror novels.