Last week I received an email in my City Commission inbox from a city resident urging a phase-out of fossil fuels for cooking and heating from our homes and businesses right here in Great Falls.
Below is the text of the email as well as my response.
I’m leaving out the senders name here, even though the email is public information and available to anyone who requests it.
I’m writing to you today because I believe our community must urgently pass a building electrification policy and phase fossil fuels out of our homes and businesses.
Buildings are responsible for 13% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, and recent study from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that gas stoves are responsible for 1 in 8 cases of childhood asthma – that’s on par with secondhand smoke. Burning gas in homes also generates harmful emissions of formaldehyde, methane, nitrogen oxides, and other pollutants.
As your constituent, I’m urging you to do everything in your power to ensure new buildings in our community are all-electric and help phase gas and other fossil fuels out of existing buildings.
Thank you for your comments and concerns, however as a Great Falls City Commissioner I have no intention of advocating in any way shape or form for banning the use of natural gas heating/cooking in our municipal building codes.
This idea is, quite frankly, completely antithetical to the common sense mainstream thinking of the folks I know and interact with daily in this community.
In addition, such a policy if implemented would be a potential disaster economically and an extra, unnecessary financial hardship for those in the lower income brackets in our community.
Commissioner Rick Tryon