I support a 100% Electrified Ashland

Dear Mayor Akins and Ashland City Councilors,

WHEREAS: The City of Ashland approved a Climate & Energy Action Plan in 2017, codified in Ashland City Ordinance 9.40, called for the City to promote switching to low- and no-carbon fuels;

WHEREAS: Natural gas is primarily methane, a potent greenhouse gas with 86x the global warming potential of carbon dioxide; and

WHEREAS: Numerous studies have shown that ‘natural’ gas pipelines are leaking methane into the atmosphere and in our communities: and

WHEREAS: Leading climate scientists and policymakers urge immediate, accelerated, and prioritized climate action, including UN Environment Programme Director, Inger Anderson who stated in May 2021 that Cutting methane is the strongest lever we have to slow climate change over the next 25 years;” and

WHEREAS: Scientists at Stanford University recently reported that, even when they’re turned off, gas stoves leak methane, and that over a 20-year period, the study found, the impact of these emissions (and the methane that escapes when they’re being ignited) does the same climate damage as 500,000 gas-powered cars, and are associated with serious health effects; and

WHEREAS: Providing for the safety of the public is a top priority for a city government; and

WHEREAS: Taking action now to reduce our climate footprint will help to ensure the liveability of our community and planet for current and future generations; and

WHEREAS: Inaction on community greenhouse gas emissions will increase food, economic, and health insecurity and foist exorbitant remedial costs on future generations;

THEREFORE: We support moving toward a moratorium on new ‘natural’ gas infrastructure in the City of Ashland; and

THEREFORE: We call on the City Council to fulfill this commitment to Ashland’s Climate & Energy Action Plan commitments by priorizing the following outcomes in the near term

  • Accelerate the conversion of all City facilities from natural gas to 100% electrification; and
  • Provide increased assistance to low- and middle-income residents of Ashland to convert their homes from ‘natural’ gas to 100% electrification.