October 7, 2019
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Seattle taxes oil heating, postpones action on natural gas

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has signed a new measure that establishes a 24 cent per gallon tax on heating oil, KUOW reports. The move starts in July and aims to phase out the fuel by 2028, the news station reports.

About 11 percent of Seattle’s single-family homes were heated by oil in 2017, a city report shows. And 66% are heated by natural gas.

Durkan said she does not support a proposal by Seattle City Councilor Mike O’Brien to ban natural gas in new buildings, KUOW reports.

KUOW’s Bill Radke asked the mayor what she thought of the proposal.

"Is it the time to make it more expensive to build low-income housing and affordable housing in the city of Seattle, and are there ways we can phase it in or do other things?” she said on KUOW’s The Record.

The Seattle City Council has delayed consideration of the natural gas ban “after pushback from businesses,” the news station reported.

KUOW also noted that the use of natural gas in new homes in Seattle has been declining.

“Last year, 65 percent of new houses in the city had all-electric heat, with no gas and no oil, according to the county assessor's office,” KUOW reports.

For more information about energy issues, contact AWB’s Peter Godlewski at PeterG@awb.org or 360.943.1600.

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By AWB President Kris Johnson and state Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz

Business, government, and residents share the same values. We place the highest premium on vibrant communities, healthy lands, and clean water.

With the right leadership and bold vision, we can create jobs and economic opportunity and preserve a healthy and clean environment. This clearly is apparent with the emergence of cross-laminated timber, which will play a key role in creating jobs in rural communities, providing building supplies to cities and towns, and reducing wildfire danger.

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