Sierra Club

04/12/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/12/2024 14:57

MEDIA ADVISORY: Oregon Regulators to Hear Concerns Over NW Natural’s Proposed Rate Increase to Pay for Fossil Fuel Subsidies

MEDIA ADVISORY: Oregon Regulators to Hear Concerns Over NW Natural's Proposed Rate Increase to Pay for Fossil Fuel Subsidies

April 12, 2024

Kim Petty, Sierra Club, [email protected], 360-362-8467

Elizabeth Manning, Earthjustice, [email protected], 907-277-2555

SALEM, Ore. - Oregon regulators will hold a public comment hearing Tuesday, April 16, on NW Natural's proposal to raise utility bills for gas customers by 18%starting next year. Residential NW Natural customers already pay on average 50% morethan they did in 2020.

NW Natural's proposal seeks to expand subsidies to grow the gas system instead of investing more wisely in clean energy infrastructure. NW natural is also looking to increase the company's profitability through a higher return on investment at the expense of customers.

At the hearing, NW Natural customers, the Oregon Citizens' Utility Board, and climate, environmental justice, and social justice organizations will urge regulators to reject the utility's requested spending. Several of these organizations, represented by the Green Energy Institute at Lewis & Clark Law School and Earthjustice, are interveningin the rate case to keep rates affordable and equitable, while ensuring realistic decarbonization policies for NW Natural.1

In an Oregon Public Utility Commission rulingfrom the 2022 rate case, state regulators ordered NW Natural to reduce gas subsidy spending that encourages new homes to be built with gas. NW Natural's current proposal ignores that order and instead asks to increase subsidies for new gas hookups by 25% - up to $3,600 per hookup. These subsidies would cost customers tens of millions annually and install unnecessary additional gas infrastructure that will be costly to maintain.

The hearing comes as NW Natural has been under increasing scrutiny for their stringent opposition to climate action and for using ratepayer funds to support aggressive anti-climate lobbying and advertising across the state.

Members of the media are welcome to join this public meeting by Zoom or via phone to listen to concerns being raised by ratepayers and advocates.

What: Public Comment Hearing on NW Natural Gas Request for a General Rate Revision (UG 490)

When: Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 6-7 p.m. PDT

Where: Remote - via Zoom or phone. OPUC's meeting agendaprovides details on how to listen in - and how the public can provide comments.

Details: To join via Zoom on April 16, click here

Available for Interview:

  • Anahi Segovia Rodriguez, Verde, Energy Justice Coordinator
  • Sentilla Hawley, Verde, Communications and Development Coordinator
  • Dylan Plummer, Sierra Club, Senior Field Organizing Strategist
  • Jaimini Parekh and Michael Mayer, Earthjustice Attorneys

1. Coalition of Communities of Color, Climate Solutions, Verde, Columbia Riverkeeper, Oregon Environmental Council, Community Energy Project, and Sierra Club.

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit

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