NW “Natural” (methane, et al.) gas has a business dilemma of remaining a fossil fuel provider yet phasing off fossil fuels due to state mandates of greenhouse gas emission reduction, and producing toxic indoor air pollution from the use of gas stoves. Methane is a gas 80 times more warming than carbon dioxide.
The Oregon Public Utilities Commission (PUC) stated NW Natural, in its integrated resource plan, relied on the state of Oregon to develop hydrogen-based fuels to replace methane rather than the utility to meet the Climate Protection Plan goals of 90 percent clean energy by 2050. According to their newsletter, NW Natural claims it is “committed to addressing climate change by supporting sound energy policy” and has carbon reduction plans in place through hydrogen fuels and renewable natural gas, yet it has sued the PUC over carbon dioxide reduction goals mandated by the state.
It has spent more than $1 million trying to overturn the city of Eugene’s electrification ordinance.
NW Natural is upgrading and expanding infrastructure with customers covering the costs of a system that may become stranded assets in the next 10 to 15 years. Fossil gas costs continue to increase. It costs less to build and operate an all-electric home in Eugene than one with fossil gas and electricity. Utility bills are lower by $389 per year for an all-electric home and gives off lower lifetime emissions compared to a mixed fuel home.
NW Natural’s future business plan is hypocritical to say the least.