Get Facts Straight On Electrification

Craig Patterson’s recent letter (9/22) attacks for refusing to “acknowledge facts,” yet his letter is full of false claims and misinformation. Most notable and central to his argument is that electric heat is far more expensive than gas, yet a study earlier this year by RMI showed that all electric homes in Eugene are cheaper than natural gas houses, both initially and on an ongoing basis. Since that study, gas prices continue to skyrocket. How can Patterson get this so wrong?

He also emphasizes that the price of electricity has increased tenfold over the last 50 years, but so has the price of housing, cars and gasoline. So what is his point? He also implies, like many who attack electrification, that commercial buildings will immediately have to switch to all electric: again, not true.

Finally, he states that the Seneca biomass plant is the biggest climate threat and describes just how dirty it is. While dirty air is concerning, it’s much different from largely invisible greenhouse gas emissions. Why confuse these issues? 

The Pacific Northwest has the cleanest and cheapest electricity in the country. The greenhouse gas emissions from a new natural gas house are many times that from an all electric home, possibly 10 or 20 times more. Building new homes that use natural gas devastates our climate and community. Support electrification now. 

Chuck Areford