Gas Leaks Alliance Conference at MIT

The Gas Leaks Allies conference at MIT this week was fabulous.

The Cambridge-based group, HEET (which I have supported and participated with over the years – in fact, we hosted a weatherization barn-raising at the Cambicoop about ten years ago with them!), has been leading an effort to identify and end gas leaks from the natural gas infrastructure. Joined by the newer Mothers Out Front climate justice group, they have an amazing story of collaboration with the gas industry to address the problem. 

Gas leaks in Massachusetts are 10% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions! It’s pure methane just flying into the air from old pipes. Some are 100+ years old!

It’s only about $90M of lost revenue per year, but actually, the gas companies don’t lose the money – they pass this cost on to ratepayers.

Rev. Mariama White-Hammond was one of the lead speakers. I recruited her to be on the Greenbuild Boston 2017 Honorary Host Committee and she is a great speaker. She really helped convene the moral aspect of this work. Great words.

 

Lori Ehreich is a state rep who is known as “Gas Leaks Girl” now due to her focus on this.

 

I happened to sit next to the National Grid fellow who is responsible for gas distribution. Even spending nearly half-a-billion per year to upgrade the pipe system, they still have a long way to go. We watched 

 

 

The end of the program was an impassioned speech from a local high school student. It was a great ending note. The crowd gave a standing ovation. It was great to be surrounded by so many good people doing such good work. Especially demonstrating that traditional opponents can indeed get together, work together, and solve probs – it was very inspiring.

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