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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Gas Pipelines in New Hampshire: Another One Gone and Another One Bites the Dust

House destroyed by a gas explosion in the Merrimack Valley, 2018. This was one of 40 buildings damaged or destroyed by explosions or fires resulting from a pressure surge. Photo: National Transportation Safety Board.

George Harvey

Whether it is court decisions, potential customers fading from view, or just mysterious decision making, companies developing natural gas pipelines have been giving up on them. A pipeline in Lebanon, New Hampshire, gave up on developing it and let permits lapse, without much explanation. The Granite State pipeline, which would have replaced older infrastructure, was also abandoned after its developer found it would lose a large customer and the upgrade was not needed.

Natural gas pipelines are often under high pressure, and they often spring leaks. Wikipedia has a couple of good articles explaining this, one is its article, “Gas explosion,” where the reader can find an impressive list of major explosions (bit.ly/WP-gas-explosions).

Leaks are far more common than most people understand. In 2012, a study locating leaks by use of sensors on all the streets in Boston found 3,300 leaks in that city. When the Conservation Law Foundation duplicated the study to verify the result, it found 4,000 (https://bit.ly/WP-gas-leak-studies).

We should make one thing clear. Whether it is for heating, cooking, or transportation, natural gas is neither more effective nor less expensive than electricity. It has no major advantages except to feed obsolescent equipment. It is a horrible contributor to climate change. And it is unsafe.

We at Green Energy Times believe we do not need natural gas. We believe, in fact, its use should be stopped. We urge all readers to scrutinize the positions of all in office and vote in November for people who have taken strong environmental stands that include positions ending new pipelines. We could note that the Sierra Club, the Sunrise Movement, and Bernie Sanders have endorsed Andru Volinsky, in some cases citing his position against new pipelines.

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