350 Eugene members held two banner drops Saturday to gather support for electrifying the City of Eugene. The action is part of the Fossil Free Eugene campaign, which also includes Sunrise Eugene, Climate Justice League, and NAACP, and was started over a year ago. The coalition is pushing City Council to adopt policies that would ban new natural gas hookups and ultimately make all buildings in Eugene electric.
Climate activists gathered at the bridges at 18th & Chambers and 30th & Potter to drop banners and wave signs Saturday afternoon. The main goals of the weekend action was to bring awareness about the campaign to other community members and to let people know that there is a way to take action around the climate. The group had previously planned to hold a “Plug in to a Clean Future” town hall at the Campbell center Saturday, but with the Omicron surge decided to postpone that event to the spring and move to a more COVID-safe action.
Eugene City Council voted last year to hold a work session to discuss two measures that would electrify the City, after pressure from Fossil Free Eugene. The first ordinance would require all new would require all new residential, commercial, and industry buildings to be electric be electric by Jan. 1, 2023. The second ordinance is around electrifying existing buildings by 2045.
“The time we have to do it is really, it’s pretty brief. So we need to do everything we can now. And electrifying will make a really big difference. In particular, in Eugene with a EWEB, because the EWEB has a very clean energy stream. So here, we can get more bang for the buck if we electrify our homes and our appliances, than maybe some other parts of the country that have a dirtier mix as part of their electricity,” Linda Kelly, a volunteer with 350 Eugene said about electrifying Eugene.
In addition to banner drops, 350 Eugene plans on sending postcards to City Council and testifying more at future City Council meetings. Kelly also encourages folks to look up their city councilor and contact them directly. The group will also be out supporting Sunrise Eugene’s Climate Strike Friday, 12:30 PM, at Washburne Park.