The science is clear. Emissions from burning fossil fuels are causing the earth to heat up rapidly and have led to the increasingly severe weather disasters the world is experiencing. That is why our City Council has been working since 2014 to plan ways Eugene can reduce our share of emissions. In 2014, the council set a goal of reducing community-wide emissions to 50 percent below 2010 levels by 2030. That goal was in line with what climate scientists were saying was necessary.
Earlier this month, Eugene City Council took action to meet that goal by passing an ordinance requiring that new low-rise residential construction be 100 percent electric. The ordinance is based on the fact that electricity generation has the potential to be nearly emissions free. EWEB electricity is currently 80 percent carbon-free hydropower with wind, solar and battery storage technology growing by leaps and bounds.
In an effort to reduce emissions at the federal level, Congress just passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which will provide billions of dollars in incentives to help Americans switch from gas to electricity. It seems counterproductive and wasteful for taxpayers to be funding these incentives if developers are continuing to build new homes that use gas.
Thank you, Councilors Emily Semple, Jennifer Yeh, Lyndsie Leech, Matt Keating and Alan Zelenka for taking a reality-based stand on this issue and voting to pass this common sense ordinance.