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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 joined the KLCC News Team in 2022. He is a graduate from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Born in Portland, Wilk began working in radio at a young age, serving as a DJ and public affairs host across Oregon.