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  • Writer's pictureFTFO

Gas companies fighting cities, harming future generations

When gas companies fear the end of the industry and reduced profits, they use fear and manipulation to rile up voters to fight gas bans in new buildings and trick city councils and citizens in believing that "natural" gas is clean and benign.

from the Washington Post: Environmentalists fear a gas industry victory here [in Eugene, Oregon] could cascade, stifling nascent efforts to get fossil fuels out of buildings in other parts of Oregon and in other U.S. cities and counties.

“I believe we’re the vanguard, that we are leading the way for other cities in the Northwest and the nation to follow, and that’s profoundly threatening to an industry that is built on expanding their customer base,” said Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis. The ballot initiative “has a serious chilling effect,” she said, “and I think that’s the intention.”

For NW Natural [a US gas company], the future of its business is on the ballot. For the gas industry nationwide, the stakes are also high, since its customers are clustered in urban, densely populated areas, where building gas lines has delivered the biggest payoff. These parts of the country also tend to have the most Democratic, climate-conscious voters, meaning the industry is facing a revolt from within its customer base.

The gas industry-backed committee has framed its campaign as protecting consumer choice. Its supporters say that ditching gas for electricity in new homes will discourage developers from building in Eugene, leave residents in the cold during power outages and do little to lower the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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