Fix the Gas Leaks
In March 2015, for the first time, every utility in Massachusetts filed a report with the Department of Public Utilities on the location of the natural gas leaks in their territory. Natural gas is sent to our homes and buildings primarily through pipes under the street. New England has some of the oldest infrastructure in the United States, including its natural gas pipes. As natural gas pipes age, the seams and material break down, and begin to leak natural gas We have over 3,500 gas leaks in greater Boston. The leaks account for 10% of the state’s inventory of greenhouse gasses. The wasted natural gas (95% methane) damages the climate more than the combined emissions of all the cars driven in the city. The gas companies have known about these leaks for years and done little about them. All the lost gas is paid for by rate payers and not the gas companies; costing residents $90mln a year. The gas companies are incentivized to not fix the leaks. The leak on the corner of Park Drive and Beacon St in Boston was reported in 1985. 30 years ago. Consumer protection bill (HR2870) stops the utility companies from passing the cost for the lost gas onto the consumers. Passage of this bill would create an incentive for utility companies to fix the leaks as quickly as possible, starting with the biggest leaks. When a similar bill was passed in Texas, 55% of the leaks were fixed within 3 years.