Make Polluters Pay For Cleanup

The burning of fossil fuels has been contributing to a warmer climate and severe weather events, requiring them to be phased out. Concerns are growing that the public will have to pay the costs for infrastructure clean up and remediation of what the industry refers to as stranded assets.

Locally, these assets would be filling stations, methane gas lines that serve homes and businesses, or a business like JH Baxter that threatens bankruptcy and lack of responsibility for dioxin cleanup within the surrounding neighborhood. Nationally and globally, assets would be abandoned and leaking fracking wells, refineries, pipelines and storage tanks like the 42 that are on Prairie Road.

Fortunately, fossil fuel risk bonds are assurances that the polluting business will pay through bonding mechanisms to cover costs of leaks, spills, explosion, abandonment, and remediation.

The city of Eugene is holding a work session May 9 to discuss enacting such a funding mechanism to protect the public from paying for a polluting business. I urge you to contact your council representative to support adopting fossil fuel risk bond funding mechanisms on businesses that handle fossil fuels and chemicals so the polluter pays.

Jim Neu