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Ward 1 Race Viewpoint: A Response to Brian Weaver on Josh Skov and Seneca

Below is a viewpoint written by Josh Proudfoot of the Good Company

The truth about Joshua Skov and Seneca

By Josh Proudfoot

I worked with my friend, Joshua Skov, for twelve years as co-founders and co-owners of Good Company, a sustainability research and consulting firm. In 2009, we evaluated the Seneca project on behalf of EWEB, one of the hundreds of projects our firm has done for public infrastructure agencies and food systems. 

Recently, Brian Weaver, in a guest viewpoint in Eugene Weekly (“Rezoning and the Ward 1 Election”) and others supporting Emily Semple have made false claims about our work and about Joshua Skov in the Eugene Council Ward 1 race. Let me set the record straight.

First, Good Company did not “recommend,” “greenwash” or “approve” the Seneca combined heat and power plant on behalf of EWEB. Instead, we were hired by EWEB staff to benchmark and characterize wind, solar, nuclear, gas, coal, and the Seneca project without recommendations so that the EWEB board could make their own choice. Further, we’re proud of our Triple Bottom Line analysis. I challenge anyone to find another utility in the entire United States that has compared the multiple economic, social and environmental aspects that carefully and benchmarked them before engaging a power purchase agreement. Kudos to EWEB for looking well beyond what is required of them. Read our report yourself: www.eweb.org/public/documents/seneca/goodCo.pdf.

Second, Good Company took a close look at the sources of local air pollution sources and scaled them in juxtaposition to the Seneca project and scaled potential pollution reduction projects. We also highlighted the importance of forest stewardship and that biomass combined heat and power from sawmill waste and forest slash is an extremely efficient energy source, with lower net carbon emissions than fossil fuels. Note that forest slash, by law, must be burned in the field, which contributes substantially more air pollution than a biomass facility. Read here for a more recent meta analysis of life cycle studies of all of power sources to see for yourself: nrel.gov/analysis/sustain_lca_results.html and dx.doi.org/10.5849/jof.14-009

So how does Skov’s work with Good Company and sustainability actually relate to the Ward 1 race?

First, Skov has dedicated his life to the pursuit of sustainability and social equity—in his personal life and in his professional life. It is not something he does in his spare time. It is what he does full time, and it is what he has done for his entire adult life. 

Second, Skov has systematically contributed to the public, while learning more about how the city works to prepare himself for leadership. He has contributed to many citizen committees on sustainability, land use, transportation, energy and wastewater. Isn’t it a good thing to have experience? I know if I was needing a surgeon, lawyer, plumber, electrician, sustainability consultant, or a city councilor, I would pick the one that has relevant experience.

I am proud to support Joshua Skov for Eugene City Council Ward 1.

Josh Proudfoot is the principal of Eugene-based consulting firm Good Company, which he co-founded with Joshua Skov in 2000.