At its July 10 work session, the Eugene City Council voted unanimously to repeal the fossil fuel infrastructure ordinance that was passed on Feb. 6, 2023 (No. 20681). Members of the City Council stated its vote was in response to uncertain legal landscape created by the federal Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling on a similar ordinance in Berkeley, Calif.
Eugene’s ordinance would have restricted fossil fuel infrastructure in new, low-rise residential buildings in Eugene. The ordinance will no longer appear as a ballot measure for the November election. Additional information is available on the Eugene Elections webpage.
“The City’s work on climate is time sensitive and urgent” said Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis. “Federal and state programs provide funding and authority that will have a huge impact in reducing fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions in our existing buildings. Now is the time to ensure our community benefits from these opportunities. The Council will return to discuss fossil fuel restrictions and reductions in new buildings when the legal status is clear.”
Eugene’s Climate Action Plan 2.0, adopted by the City Council in 2020, includes more than 100 actions to reduce communitywide greenhouse gas emissions. The Council’s decision allows the City to resume community conversations on the full range of building decarbonization strategies. The City will also focus on connecting residents and businesses with potential financial incentives available through the Inflation Reduction Act. More information about the City’s CAP 2.0 implementation and building decarbonization is available online.
Councilors also voted to schedule a work session as soon as possible after the summer break to discuss how to proceed on near-term climate actions that align with new and existing federal and state programs, funding and incentives; that focuses on strategic areas that reduce significant amounts of GHG emissions; and includes community engagement. The Council also passed a motion to schedule a discussion before July 2024 regarding ways in which the City can reduce the use of fossil fuels in new construction.