ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

New research reveals U.S. gas pipeline leaks have not improved

The report comes as the Biden administration prepares in the coming months to unveil new safety-related rules to curb methane emissions from pipeline systems that transport gas from production to local distribution.

Dakota Access pipelines Williston North Dakota
A trio of excavators move earth along the Dakota Access pipeline route east of Williston, N.D., in late July 2016.
Eric Hylden / Forum News Service
We are part of The Trust Project.

More than 2,600 hazardous gas pipeline leaks in the United States caused more than $4 billion in damages and emergency services, killed 122 people, and released 26.6 billion cubic feet of fuel as methane or carbon dioxide, according to a report released on Thursday.

The report, by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group, comes as the Biden administration prepares in the coming months to unveil new safety-related rules to curb methane emissions from pipeline systems that transport gas from production to local distribution.

More energy news
"I recently asked Lynn Helms, North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Director for the facts that rarely get reported," columnist Scott Hennen writes. "Helms tells us there is a full-on assault against our oil and gas industry in North Dakota coming from the Biden Administration."
This year’s overall disbursement is the second largest since 1983 and provides funds for states and Tribes to pursue a variety of conservation goals.
A site in Mercer County in North Dakota coal country came out at the top of a list of 18 potential sites for a Talon Metals plant to process ore into battery-grade materials.
“If they don’t, they’re going to pay a higher tax on their excess profits and face other restrictions,” President Biden said during a Halloween news conference. “My team will work with Congress to look at these options that are available to us and others. It’s time for these companies to stop war profiteering, meet their responsibilities to this country, give the American people a break and still do very well.”
The new funding will help Americans with heating costs and unpaid utility bills and repairs of home energy appliances that will help lower their energy costs, the White House said.
It may not be the specific type of progress that progressive activists want, but it's having a real impact on carbon emissions.
"Ironically Biden is making our point for us. The more he unleashes domestic oil production, the lower the price goes," columnist Scott Hennen writes. "What's not to love? The dirty little secret is, this administration hates domestic oil production. They will tolerate it for some temporary relief at the pump, but not for long."
The proposed facility slated for Mercer County is one of 21 projects announced Wednesday to be awarded federal funding by President Joe Biden’s administration.
Carbon capture technology is progress. Would it be nice if more progressives realized this?
Enbridge spokesperson Juli Kellner said in a statement the company is "pleased with this decision that acknowledges the thorough, inclusive and science-based review of the Line 3 replacement project."

In addition, the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, passed last year, will enable the Department of Transportation to spend $1 billion to replace leaky gas distribution pipelines.

On average, a major new gas leak incident is reported to the federal government every 40 hours, while more minor leaks can go undetected and unrepaired for years.

The report, which shows that the incidence of major pipeline leaks or explosions has not decreased over the last decade, makes the case that the U.S. should move away from the widespread use of natural gas in homes and businesses toward electrification.

ADVERTISEMENT

"House explosions and leaking pipelines aren’t isolated incidents — they’re the result of an energy system that pipes dangerous, explosive gas across the country and through our neighborhoods," said Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG Education Fund Environment Campaigns director.

The incidents included in the report were caused by an array of factors, from operator errors to equipment failures to natural causes.

The report recommends that policymakers step up incentives to fast-track the transition from a gas-dependent economy to one that is all-electric, encouraging homes and buildings to use electric heat pumps, stoves and other appliances.

During the transition, the report says gas infrastructure investments should focus on fixing leaks.

Methane is over 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide during the first 20 years it lasts in the atmosphere.

Throughout the U.S., nearly 33% of all reported gas leak incidents resulted in fire and 13% resulted in explosions. From 2010 to late 2021, 122 people were killed and another 603 were injured in gas leak incidents.

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; editing by Leslie Adler.)

ADVERTISEMENT

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

What to read next
Bing also wrote in the document titled "death note" that he planned to spare a person, whose name was redacted, because she had a special place in his heart, citing his own mother's death from cancer.
Tuesday's bloodshed was the latest episode of gun violence in the United States which has fueled debate over tighter restrictions on access to guns.
Trump was the first president in four decades not to release his tax returns as he sought to keep secret the details of his wealth and the activities of his real estate company, the Trump Organization.
In seeking to dismiss the case, Trump maintained that the attorney general lacked authority to pursue a lawsuit designed to "get" him when neither the public nor the marketplace was harmed.