Eugene officials weigh possible changes to gas agreement

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Officials in Eugene are considering whether they can force a natural gas company to reduce emissions to help meet carbon reduction goals.

A 20-year agreement between Eugene and NW Natural is up for renewal next year.

The Register-Guard reports one idea being discussed would assess a higher or variable franchise fee, a charge generally passed to customers. The city could use the fee to encourage the company to reduce its carbon footprint or spend the additional revenue to help address its carbon-reduction goals.

At a recent meeting, City Councilor Alan Zelenka said the options being discussed are “pushing the envelope.”

Franchise agreements govern a company’s use of public rights of way to operate and maintain service lines. Companies typically pay a percentage of gross revenue to the city as compensation.