Pulling the Plug on Not-so-Natural Gas

Lily Trienens


May 30, 2024


Have you ever heard the term “natural gas”?

For decades, Big Oil has been trying to pull one over on you and the rest of the American public—but there is nothing “natural” about natural gas. It is made from toxic methane that accelerates the climate crisis 80x more than traditional C02. Methane gas is not only a major driver of climate change; because we use methane gas to heat our stoves, hot water heaters, and other appliances, methane use also puts our families at risk of major health issues including cancer and asthma due to hazardous air pollutants that are created when methane burns. That’s why pulling the plug on not-so-natural gas and transitioning to renewable energy sources is so important to our health and environment

At a time when we have alternatives—from induction stoves to electric hot water heaters—and tax credits available under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to bring these healthy appliances into our homes, Big Oil is pulling out all the stops to block electrification across the United States and beyond.

If we zoom in on Oregon, we can see how Big Oil is at it again, putting their tired–yet-effective playbook to work, continuing to block the clean energy transition. NW Natural, a major utility in the Pacific Northwest, poured $1 million into a campaign to block attempts by the Eugene, OR City Council to address the climate crisis, protect the health of residents and families, and ensure that new homes are powered by clean energy. And can you guess who won? If you guessed the people of Eugene, OR, you’re going to want to hit the delete key on that answer.

NW Natural has also been fighting state-level efforts in Oregon to reduce hazardous greenhouse gas emissions. They have set their sights on building long-lasting support to prop up a dying industry by targeting school students with disinformation in gas-focused activity booklets and training for teachers that frame toxic methane gas as a “cleaner energy alternative” vs. coal or oil. And now, as is happening across the country, they are positioning for a more than 16% rate increase to pad their pockets on the backs of consumers.

ACE is fighting back on the spread of this toxic disinformation. We’ve already reached nearly 2 million people in Oregon to inoculate residents from misinformation and educate them on the dirty tactics to delay electrification.

The future is electric and the renewable revolution cannot be stopped. We won’t let Big Oil get away with their prehistoric tactics to stall our clean energy future—we’re pulling the plug on methane gas.

Lily, ACE Headshot

Lily Trienens

Head of Policy and Communications

Lily leads ACE's institutional giving portfolio and supports the management and administration of the fundraising team. She collaborates across teams to engage ACE’s community of funders in building youth power within the climate justice movement. She engages young people, funders, and communities most impacted by climate change to build support for youth climate leadership and action.

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