That’s the video from Tuesday afternoon’s City Council Sustainability and Transportation Committee meeting. The committee – actually, just chair Mike O’Brien, as no other councilmembers showed up – took up two proposals we’ve reported on before, both involving energy. One would ban natural-gas piping in new construction (here’s our previous report); the other would tax heating oil (here’s our original report and followup).
In 45 minutes of public comment at the start of the meeting, the gas proposal was the main topic. Most of the speakers opposed it and/or asked O’Brien to at least “slow down” and launch a discussion of its potential effects. He promised to do that, and didn’t put the proposal up for a vote, so it will have to come back to the committee at an unspecified future date. He did discuss some research he had asked council staff to do; one point of interest that they reported – Seattle City Light felt it could generate enough electricity to cover the increased use, but would need to beef up transmission/distribution capacity.
As for the oil tax – announced by the mayor in early August – O’Brien voted to advance that to a full council vote, with some amendments. It would tax heating oil 23.6 cents a gallon starting on July 1, 2020, with much of the money going to help cover the costs of conversion to electric heat.