Panoramic photo of Bend Oregon
Turns out it’s a bad idea to burn fossil fuels inside our buildings too
As heat rises, fossil fuel pollution from Oregon’s buildings looms large.
Clean buildings

Heating and powering our homes and businesses generates a substantial amount of our climate-changing pollution; our built environment is a major contributor to global warming.  If our homes and buildings were carbon-free and energy efficient, we would significantly reduce our climate pollution, drastically cut energy costs for owners and renters, and improve air quality where we live and work. 

For example, in Washington State, emissions from buildings are growing at a faster rate than any other source of carbon pollution, with this increase largely attributable to the use of fossil gas in homes and buildings. Combusting fossil gas in homes and buildings is not only a significant contributor to climate change, but also poses significant health risks for our communities, children, and other vulnerable populations.

Indoor air quality issues are particularly concentrated for low-income residents in smaller units with poor ventilation. Communities of color are already disproportionately impacted by outdoor air pollution, and should not continue to be disproportionately harmed by poor indoor air quality as well. Gas appliances also worsen our outdoor air quality.  For example, California’s residential appliances releasing more than two times as many NOx emissions as all of their gas power plants combined, and commercial gas appliances releasing just as much NOx pollution as all of California’s cars.

Many cities in the region and around the country are increasingly looking at ensuring all new buildings are electric as a key cost-effective pathway for achieving their local or state greenhouse emissions goals. Electrifying buildings is critical to addressing climate change, but it is also achievable, affordable, safe, and creates a more resilient energy system.

We are working with partners to move toward electrifying our buildings for heating, cooling and cooking.  We can also construct homes and buildings that get all their energy from sustainable sources, and even produce as much energy as they use — net zero energy buildings. 

Climate Cast banner with photo of fire truck submerged in floodwaters

The good, the bad, and the necessary next steps

Harrowing floods  After a summer where record-breaking heat waves made international headlines, low-lying towns and neighborhoods in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia

Oil rig in front of sunset

130k reasons to stop

A massive oil spill in California, America readying for EV growth, big moves on gas use in buildings, Bad Apples in the Beltway, and a spotlight on Facebook’s climate denial.

collage of Mount Hood, a girl cleaning an electric induction stove, and solar panel installers

Turns out it’s a bad idea to burn fossil fuels inside our buildings too

As heat rises, fossil fuel pollution from Oregon’s buildings looms large.

Phasing out gas: Shoreline takes steps towards clean buildings

Shoreline is gearing up to make sure all new large buildings are powered by clean energy, not fossil fuels. If you're a local resident, let the city know they're on the right track!

city skyline with text overlay "clean and safe buildings"

Clean Buildings: Help King County keep leading on climate

We’re used to thinking of transportation as the big source of greenhouse gas emissions. But while they don't move, buildings still emit carbon and air pollution.

Photo of sunrise over Steens Mountain - Little Blitzen Gorge, 2016

So… What just happened in Salem?

Oregon’s 2021 legislative session has come to a close. We’ve made some major progress on statewide climate action, but before we dive into those details, let’s talk about how we got here.

popsicles

Sweating in the heat? All-electric buildings provide a cool solution

With fossil fuels as the energy source for our buildings, we’re only going to see more unprecedented heat waves. We need to reduce our emissions and protect our communities. That’s where the movement towards clean, safe, all-electric buildings comes in. 

no climate action, no deal

Tell Congress: no climate action, no deal on infrastructure

The American Jobs Act could provide the biggest-ever US investment in clean energy and equitable climate progress. But the fossil fuel industry is lobbying hard to make sure that doesn't happen. Let's stand up now for climate action!

climate cast banner + photo of TriMet all-electric bus

Keystone XL is kaput

TriMet doubles down on clean electricity, Keystone XL pipeline is cancelled, and carmakers up the ante on EVs.

Sunset over a smoky sky

It's the 11th hour for climate action in Salem

23 days. That’s how much time is left in the legislative session in Salem.    97° F. That’s the record-breaking temperature in Salem on June 1st.

Oil rig in front of sunset

130k reasons to stop

A massive oil spill in California, America readying for EV growth, big moves on gas use in buildings, Bad Apples in the Beltway, and a spotlight on Facebook’s climate denial.
Read More

11th Annual CUB Policy Conference

Increasingly, the Pacific Northwest sees the impacts of climate change in real time. Recently, catastrophic wildfires and wind and ice storms have placed a massive strain on our energy systems. In severe cases, customers have been left without power for days or weeks on end. Meanwhile, our policy climate is shifting decidedly toward a model of 100% clean electricity. Increasing reliance on variable resources raises questions of resource adequacy and reliability. How can we reliably heat and cool everyone’s homes, while keeping service affordable for all?

Photo of sunrise over Steens Mountain - Little Blitzen Gorge, 2016

So… What just happened in Salem?

Oregon’s 2021 legislative session has come to a close. We’ve made some major progress on statewide climate action, but before we dive into those details, let’s talk about how we got here.
Read More