Cascadia Wildlands and Allies Call for Eugene to Step Away from New Fracked Gas Infrastructure

For Immediate Release
November 18, 2020

Dylan Plummer, Grassroots Organizer, Cascadia Wildlands 541.531.1858

Broad Coalition Calls for Transition Away from Fracked Gas and Halt to Construction of New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure in Eugene

EUGENE, OR – Eugene residents and grassroots organizations including NAACP Eugene/Springfield, Beyond Toxics and Springfield Eugene Tenants Association sent a public letter to Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis, City Manager Sarah Medary, and the Eugene City Council today, calling for a moratorium on new natural (fracked) gas infrastructure citing the impact that fracked gas is having on the climate and the environment. This demand is part of a years-long campaign to hold the city accountable to its newly revised Climate Action Plan, which it is not on track to meet.

Avery Temple, a climate and racial justice organizer in Eugene, said:
“Every day that we do not act, we are one step closer to climate chaos — the brunt of which falls on BIPOC communities. We must be unapologetically bold in our decisions to fight climate change and forge a just transition away from fossil fuels to secure an equitable future for all.”

The letter comes as the fight to amend the City of Eugene’s franchise agreement with fracked gas utility Northwest Natural heats up. Community members are calling for the City of Eugene to significantly alter their franchise agreement with the utility, to provide for the transition off of fracked gas and other fossil fuels in line with the City’s Climate Action Plan, and to provide subsidies for low-income households to switch to renewable energy.

Eric Richardson, Executive Director of NAACP Eugene/Springfield, said:
“As a proponent of the rights and dignity of people of color we at the Eugene/Springfield NAACP enthusiastically support all efforts at addressing the long standing disparities and  the silencing of frontline communities. We believe these initiatives have within them the necessary emphasis needed to move our State forward through policy”

Dylan Plummer, Grassroots Organizer with Cascadia Wildlands, said:
“With the franchise agreement for NW Natural coming up for renewal in May, the City of Eugene has an opportunity to show national climate leadership, and chart a just transition off of fossil fuels. By creating a renewable energy fund and mandating the immediate halt to all new fossil fuel infrastructure in the city, Eugene could put itself on the map and well on its way to meeting the bold goals laid out in its Climate Action Plan.”

Betzi Hitz, an organizer with 350 Eugene, said:
“Continuing to build new gas pipelines and install gas appliances will lock in future carbon emissions and methane leakage and make it nearly impossible to reach Eugene climate targets. We need to be planning for the future, not locking ourselves into the dirty energy systems of the past.”

The full list of groups signed onto the letter is: Beyond Toxics, Cascadia Action Network, Cascadia Wildlands, Eugene Democratic Socialists of America, Eugene Environmental and Climate Justice Committee, Heart in Hands, NAACP Eugene Springfield, Springfield Eugene Tenants Association, Sunrise Eugene, University of Oregon Climate Justice League, University of Oregon Young Democratic Socialists of America, and 350 Eugene.

Background and Resources:
Read the letter sent to Mayor Lucy Vinis and Eugene City Councilors here. Read more about the City of Eugene’s franchise agreement with Northwest Natural here