In the past decade studies show that natural gas contributes far more to global warming than originally estimated. These findings are driving cities, counties, states, and individuals across the country to take steps to reduce natural gas use.
Natural gas has been marketed as a “bridge fuel” to help us transition to a cleaner energy future. This marketing is misleading.
Natural gas is about 90% methane–a highly potent greenhouse gas. When released into the atmosphere, the global warming impact of methane is 86 times worse than carbon dioxide over 20 years.
When natural gas is that as it is extracted, processed, and transported, methane is leaking all along the way. You can see it for yourself thanks to infrared videos of methane leaks that are widely available on YouTube. Studies suggest that as much as 3-5% of fossil gas is escaping in the form of these “fugitive emissions.” That’s enough methane to outweigh the claimed advantages of fossil gas over coal, contributing mightily to climate change. As pipelines age, the leaks will likely increase.
Reducing Natural Gas Use is a Key Strategy in Ashland’s Climate Plan
In 2017, Ashland approved a Climate & Energy Action Plan. A major strategy of the plan is to reduce the greenhouse gases produced by our homes and buildings by switching to cleaner energy. “Ashland has great potential to reduce GHG emissions through switching from higher-carbon fuels such as natural gas and gasoline to lower-carbon electricity.”
Stanford scientists find the climate and health impacts of natural gas stoves are greater than previously thought
Unlike other gas appliances, such as space and water heaters that are usually placed away from living quarters, cooking appliances directly expose people to their emissions, which can include formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and nitric oxides that can trigger asthma, coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing, occasionally resulting in hospitalization.
Stanford researchers found that gas stoves emit 3/4 of their emissions when stoves are not in use.
Electrify Ashland Now is a local volunteer-driven effort to reduce our community’s greenhouse gas emissions by electrifying our buildings. Electrify Ashland Now is a project of the Ashland Climate Collaborative, an Oregon-registered organization of Ashland residents founded in 2022.
Learn more about the Collaborative at AshlandClimate.org.