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Tell Oregon regulators: we want clean and safe buildings in our future
July 8, 2022

The news from the Supreme Court limiting the US EPA’s authority to act on climate is tough to take in. And it means that we need strong action from every other level of government, including the state and local level to meet the climate crisis. 

That’s where our state utility regulators come in!

What can we do?

Communities across Oregon are working towards a rapid, efficient, equitable transition away from fossil fuels, including methane “natural” gas use in our buildings. But Oregon’s utility regulators must step up and do more to drive this transition.

In a draft fact-finding report about the “Future of Gas” released in April, regulators at the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) suggest an approach that would add NEW gas customers and prolong methane gas use—actions that would not help curb rising bills or avert negative health and climate impacts.

Can you join others to speak up?

Together we can let the Public Utility Commissioners know that there must be no “future” for methane gas in Oregon! 

Email puc.publicmeetings@puc.oregon.gov with “UM 2178” in the subject line. Request the opportunity to provide oral testimony during an online hearing on July 12th at 5:30pm.

Sign up early; the meeting agenda indicates that the opportunity to comment will be granted on a first come, first served basis.

On July 12, let's tell utility regulators to focus on protecting communities from climate change harms, rapidly rising fossil energy costs, and health burdens associated with methane gas use—with the worst harms felt by Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color, lower- and middle-income households, and rural communities.

Their fact-finding report should bolster policies that reduce gas use and protect customers rather than increasing customers’ bills through gas line extensions. Let’s all tell our regulators to keep the future of fracked gas short, with an equitable transition to clean and efficient electricity for all, including:

  • No more subsidies for fossil fuels. Specifically eliminating incentives for the expansion of gas infrastructure through the rapid phase-out of gas line extension allowances. This subsidy funds extending existing gas pipelines to new construction. 
  • Expand programs to support a just clean energy transition. We need robust weatherization, energy efficiency, and affordability programs that support all Oregonians in a transition off gas, with a priority for low-income and environmental justice communities.
  • No time for delay, no room for risky investments. We must invest in solutions we know will help in this transition – not risky investments that double down on gas infrastructure and risk leaving customers footing the bill. 

Thanks for your help! The future of gas needs to be short for us to have a healthy future.

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Author Bio

Greer Ryan

Oregon Clean Buildings Policy Manager, Climate Solutions

Greer works to advance policies and regulations that will drive a rapid transition to 100% clean, safe, and equitable buildings for all. 

Prior to joining Climate Solutions, Greer was a Senior Energy Policy Analyst at the Center for Biological Diversity. In this role, she advanced various energy justice policy solutions, including reducing barriers to distributed solar, ensuring consumer protections from utility shutoffs, and increasing transparency and accountability of utility influence spending.  

Greer holds an M.S. in Environmental Science from Indiana University and a B.S. in Molecular Environmental Biology from UC Berkeley. She is currently an evening law student at Lewis & Clark Law School. In her free time, Greer enjoys exploring Oregon's beautiful outdoors with her dog, swimming, and vegan baking.