By Jeff Stone, Executive Director of the Oregon Association of Nurseries
As you visit your local nursery and prepare to plant your garden during National Gardening Month, remember those carbon neutralizing plants you love are possible because of natural gas.
Oregon is home to some of the world’s most fertile land with more than 250 commodities grown here. Nurseries rely heavily on natural gas to protect plants during harsh weather. We prefer natural gas because it’s currently the cleanest fuel option. With recent advancements in technology, renewable natural gas and hydrogen will soon be an option to help decarbonize our energy grid and we look forward to those innovations but until then, we need the reliability and affordability of natural gas.
As farmers, we are conservationists intimately familiar with the effects of climate change on our plants and communities. Between record-setting ice storms and heatwaves, the past couple years has been challenging to say the least. As politicians look for solutions to address climate change, I’d urge them to keep in mind that natural gas is part of our clean energy future. And if our state reduces access or makes natural gas more expensive for us, it will negatively affect Oregon’s 700 nurseries.
Whether you’re planting tomatoes and geraniums, you can thank natural gas. Otherwise, those starters wouldn’t be ready for you to pick up at your local nursery this month. Making a key ingredient to our success more expensive will only harm these local, multi-generational businesses. Please allow Oregonians to keep their affordable and reliable natural gas.
This letter was originally published in the Bend Bulletin.