Gas leaks

The existing distribution pipes in Boston are leaking huge amounts of natural gas. The energy producers would like to sell more gas to the utilities, but, if there is a need for gas, why is the gas we’re already buying allowed to leak out?


City Maps of Gas Leaks – Massachusetts – From Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) (2015)

“Large methane leaks threaten perception of ‘clean’ natural gas,” by Leigh Paterson, NPR, June 23, 2018.
“A new study published in the journal Science finds that methane emissions from U.S. oil and gas operations are 60 percent higher than previous estimates from the federal government.”

“National Grid Suing City, Rejecting O’Malley’s Ordinance to Fix Gas Leaks,” David Ertischek, Jamaica Plain News, March 29, 2018.
The law’s author District 6 City Councilor Matt O’Malley said the law (passed by Boston City Council and signed by Mayor Walsh) would have gone “to the heart of fixing the 4,000 to 5,000 gas leaks in the city. “ It was to take effect in July 2017, but still has not taken effect as of March 2018 due to National Grid’s lawsuit. National Grid claims that the law departs from their standard approach to fixing gas leaks, violates union contracts and may increase consumer costs.

“Methane Emissions Draw EPA Limits,” Tom Ashbrook, On Point (WBUR), Aug. 20, 2015.
“The EPA says methane may be more dangerous than CO2 for global warming. Wants to clean up drilling wellheads. There’s a fight on. … It’s a super global-warmer when it hits the atmosphere – 25 times more potent there than the big global culprit carbon dioxide, CO2. Now the Obama administration, through the EPA, wants to start to rein in that methane leakage from oil and gas production.”

Weymouth, Mass. – Gas leak occurred on Jan. 6, 2017

Video of gas leak found at proposed site of WRL pipeline’s M&R station (YouTube) – From Gas Safety USA and Boston University researcher and associate professor at the College of Arts and Sciences, Nathan Phillips. A leak was found right where Spectra is doing construction! (Jan. 4, 2016)

2016-01-04 wrl_gasleaks

Image of gas leaks in West Roxbury: Gas Safety USA. Courtesy BU professor Nathan Phillips.

“Leaks widespread in state’s gas lines,” by David Abel, Boston Globe, Aug. 21, 2015.

“Natural Gas Pipeline Leaks: Building a Bigger System Doesn’t Fix the Problem,” Mass Energy Consumers Alliance, “Currents” newsletter, Spring 2015.

“Boston’s Got a Gas Problem as Methane Seeps from City,” by Bobby Magill and Climate Central, Scientific American, Jan. 23, 2015.

“Boston’s natural gas infrastructure releases high levels of heat-trapping methane,” Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Jan. 22, 2015.
Quote: “The Harvard-led team estimates that each year about 15 billion cubic feet of natural gas, worth some $90 million, escapes the Boston region’s delivery system.”

A 2012 BU study found natural gas leaks.

A flyer about the risks of new gas pipelines, provided to us by Mothers Out Front: Color for sharing onlineBlack-and-white for printing

“Power Shift – Rampant City Gas Leaks,” aired on living on earth, PRI’s Environmental News Magazine, on Jan. 13, 2012.


An underground gas leak in the Aliso Canyon Gas Storage Field began Oct. 23, 2015 and caused the evacuation of thousands of people from their homes near Porter Ranch, Calif. About 1.6 million pounds of methane is leaking every day, making it the largest such leak in California’s history and a significant contributor to global warming — the equivalent of driving millions of extra cars every day! It was four months before the leak was plugged, by which time approximately 100,000 metric tons of methane had been lost.

“5 Facts to Know about the California Methane Leak,” Tia Ghose, LiveScience, Dec. 31, 2015.

“This Is How Much the California Gas Leak Is Hurting the Planet,” Justin Worland and Heather Jones, Time, Jan. 14, 2016.

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