Written on: October 30, 2014

It’s Time to Address Natural Gas Leaks

According to a recent investigative report by USA Today, at least 135 people have died and 600 people have been injured in the past decade—either by natural gas pipeline leaks, fires or explosions.

For safety sake, federal and state regulators have been urging utilities to replace old, leaky pipelines made from cast iron and bare steel pipelines with more durable materials (plastic or corrosion-resistant steel). Unfortunately, there are thousands of miles of old pipelines throughout the Northeast that won’t be replaced for decades because of the high expense: it can cost $1 million per mile, or more, to replace aging pipe; these costs are typically passed to customers.

Read the full report by USA Today.

While you’re there, enter your zip code to see if there are gas leaks near you.

Let’s look one example from New York. Con Edison, which serves most of New York City and Westchester County, has thousands of miles of bare metal pipe and ranked third in the United States in the rate of hazardous leaks in 2013. (read more)

Meanwhile, in Connecticut, the state continues to try to fast track a multi-billion dollar energy plan to fund the building of 900 miles of natural gas pipeline. It’s part of a push to convert nearly 300,000 homes to natural gas. The state says the money will come from ratepayers, private capital and taxpayers.

We feel strongly that Connecticut’s priority should be replacing the failing gas pipelines in the state—not adding new ones. Consider this:

Please join us in contacting your state and federal representatives in Connecticut and New York to let them know that the issue of leaking gas pipelines is a serious problem that needs to be addressed more strongly—for our own safety.