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Referendum on natural gas ordinance qualifies for ballot

A sign indicates the presence of a natural gas pipeline
Chris Lehman
A signature-gathering effort aimed at eventually overturning Eugene's new fossil-fuels ordinance has qualified for the ballot.

A signature-gathering effort aimed at forcing a public vote on Eugene’s new natural gas ordinance has been successful.

The Lane County elections office said opponents of the ordinance submitted enough valid signatures.

The group was funded primarily by gas utility NW Natural, which contributed nearly $1 million to the cause.

It means the ordinance will not go into effect in June, as originally scheduled.

If voters approve the ordinance in November, it would go into effect at that point. If voters reject it, the measure would be thrown out. The ordinance was originally approved by the Eugene City Council on Feb. 6, after the council rejected a proposal by some members to send it to the ballot.

The ordinance would ban fossil-fuel hook-ups in new low-rise residential buildings. It would not apply to commercial buildings, or existing residences.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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