As former customers we recently received an invitation from NW Natural Gas to petition the Eugene City Council to reject a projected ban on “natural” gas for cooking and heating in new homes and businesses. NW Natural blames this proposed ban on “activists,” suggesting that this forced electrification is an attack on freedom of choice. It claims that “all forms of renewable energy” are the best solution for “a balanced, affordable, low carbon future.” Defining methane (a fracked, unnatural gas ) as a renewable energy is dishonest. Yes, in a rapidly warming climate in which frequent weather events may disrupt the electrical grid, any alternative backup can obviously be a plus.
For gas there are at least two serious drawbacks:
1. Within the home, your gas stove may be polluting your air even when it’s turned off, with high levels of benzene (cancer causing), nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.
2. More bad news: A March 22 Stanford research study of the Permian Basin of New Mexico, one of the highest-producing oil and gas regions in the world, reveals that more than 9 percent of all methane produced in the region leaks into the sky. Methane is a 30 times more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2. Additionally multiple micro leakages may happen during transport in pipelines and smaller distribution conduits.
As a choice of willful electrification we freely opted out of methane.