MA - A Groundbreaking Collaboration: Common Goals, Uncommon Partners

“This collaboration is a model for the country. In our increasingly polarized society,
you’ve shown a new path forward.”

--Maura Healey, Massachusetts Attorney General

On October 3 at a summit at MIT, Mothers Out Front and our close ally HEET brought together our region’s 3 largest utilities – Eversource, National Grid and Columbia Gas - to tell the story and present the outcomes of our unusual collaboration to develop new accurate and replicable methods for identifying the largest emitting gas leaks in Massachusetts’ aged gas distribution system.

Our study confirmed other research showing that just 7% of the gas leaks are responsible for an estimated 50% of the methane leakage from gas leaks in Massachusetts – and so there are huge efficiencies in identifying and fixing the largest leaks. Overall, the methane leakage in the gas distribution system causes an estimated 10% of Massachusetts’ greenhouse gas emissions.

Background:

Mothers Out Front is in our third year of a highly successful gas leaks campaign in Massachusetts that has both achieved real impact and built organizing power.

Several studies between 2013 and 2015 highlighted a serious gas leaks problem -- a Boston University study documenting 3,300 leaks in Boston; reports provided by the gas utilities showing 20,000 leaks statewide; and a 2015 Harvard University study demonstrating a 2.7% overall methane leakage rate, with $90M in leaked gas paid for by unwitting consumers.

16 Massachusetts Mothers Out Front Teams mobilized!  They:

  • Raised awareness about gas leaks in community forms;
  • Wrote op-ed pieces in their local and state papers;
  • Held community-wide leak-tagging events, engaging their communities;
  • Created interactive leak-mapping events;
  • Held a birthday party for the Boston’s oldest (30 years) gas leak;
  • Had Twitter Storms and trended;
  • Ran social media campaigns, getting news coverage and recruiting new volunteers;
  • AND joined a cross-sectoral alliance, the Gas Leaks allies

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE! (Click to view/download the pdf.)

Read the Boston Globe coverage HERE!

 

Picture slide show (Photos by Kristine Jelstrup)


Thank you to our partner, HEET, for producing these session videos from the event!

You can also see the videos on the HEET website here:  https://www.heetma.org/fixbiggasleaks/summit-videos/


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