Audio recordings obtained by the Washington Post reveal the American Gas Association plans to spend $4 million dollars on a campaign to overturn a Eugene, Oregon, electrification ordinance, in what the industry sees as a potential first salvo in an offensive to undo similar efforts to prevent new methane gas infrastructure across the country. That’s about $22.84 for each one of the 175,000 residents of Eugene, one of a growing drumbeat of municipalities across the country to adopt electrification ordinances in order to reduce health threats and cut climate pollution.
The AGA campaign on behalf of local gas utility NW Natural will pit the industry against the coalition of city leaders, high school activists, and environmentalists who won passage of the ordinance earlier this year. City-wide candidates in Eugene typically raise between $100,000 to $150,000, and the prospect of $4 million being dropped on the city is daunting. “It’s really going to be an uphill, muddy battle. It’s the giant versus the little people,” Eugene City Council member Emily Semple, who voted for the ordinance, told the Washington Post. “I don’t know how we’re going to stand up to that.” (Washington Post $)