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Support for REACH Codes

From: domainremoved <Mitch>
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2019 10:07:53 -0700

Dear City Council members,

As a former Menlo Park Environmental Quality Commissioner and Chair I am grateful to you for providing wise leadership toward a significant future reduction of natural gas usage in Menlo Park.

Proponents of natural gas, and particularly those benefitting financially from it’s extraction and use, often contend that it is “clean.” However, this assertion overlooks or even denies that natural gas is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes substantially to global warming and climate change. The extraction of natural gas through fracking often requires the injection of toxic chemicals into groundwater and even more use of fossil fuels in the extraction process. Certainly one could contend that natural gas is cleaner than methane from a GHG emissions perspective, yet that is a false choice when the alternative in San Mateo County is electricity that will soon be generated by 100% non-carbon sources.

One other factor gas proponents often overlook is the safety risk from either gas leaks or pipeline explosions. Natural gas is highly flammable and explosive. Our homes and businesses will be much safer as we reduce this risk.

While I am aware that this REACH Code ordinance still enables gas lines so that residents preferring natural gas stoves and/or fireplaces will have this option, this is a relatively small greenhouse gas impact and perhaps many of these residents will switch to electricity over time and eliminate this safety risk in their homes.

Your action in voting for this REACH Code ordinance is a small yet necessary step toward a future in which we put a stop to the emission of poisons into the earth’s atmosphere that right now threaten to leave our children and grandchildren with a much less habitable planet and one beset by far more natural and human disasters as a result.

My fervent hope is that your affirmation of these codes will inspire the majority of Silicon Valley municipalities to take similar action and in turn, inspire many other communities to make changes now that lay the groundwork for a more sustainable planet.

With gratitude,
Mitch Slomiak
Received on Mon Sep 09 2019 - 10:01:10 PDT

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