Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Gas Leaks in Boston

In many places in the country there is a lot of talk of building pipelines, like the Keystone XL, and natural gas fracking. With both of these activities there is a lot of talk of leaks, whether it is an oil leak out of the Keystone XL pipe line that could cause a huge contamination to the water system in the area or if it a gas leak that happens to go straight in the ground water system from fracking and contaminate the water that way. Whichever problem we are talking about, there will always be people talking about it, but what about natural gas pipelines that have been leaking for a very long time?
This is something that an author in The Boston Globe was talking about in his article, “Leaks in Boston area gas pipes exceed estimates.” In this article David Able explains that there has been a lot of very small leaks in the pipes that have been bring natural gas to the Boston area for a very long time, and something needs to be done. It is estimated that every year they lose enough gas, because of leaks, to heat 200,000 homes a year or $90 million worth of gas annually. This is not only taking a hit in the economic stand point for the company but also for the environmental stand point. Methane, another name for natural gas, is 20 times worse than carbon dioxide when it comes to it being a contributor with the global warming issue in today’s society.
I believe they need to get this problem fixed as soon as possible and that is exactly what is going through their heads. They are currently replacing and fixing leaks that they are finding in the pipelines that lead to the city. I think these efforts are great but I believe that they need to try and make this the biggest top priority! In the article it states, “If Federal estimates are correct, that would mean the Boston area is contributing 9 percent of the nation’s methane from natural gas.” This is alarming to me seeing that the 24th largest city in the nation with only 645,966 people in the city is at fault for 9% of the nation’s methane release. If they don’t get their city cleaned up soon I think that there should be a conversation that involves a type of punishment if they don’t bring their percentage down.
--Keith Hollister

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