More than 1 million homes are heated with utility gas in Massachusetts. It should come as no surprise that burning methane – the primary component of “natural” gas – creates dangerous indoor air pollution that can harm our health. Children are at particularly high risk of developing asthma and other respiratory ailments when this toxic fossil fuel is burned inside the home.
The gas distribution system that delivers fracked methane gas to our homes is accelerating climate change. The gas pipes that run beneath our neighborhood streets are riddled with leaks. In 2020, it is estimated that gas utilities leaked over 5,753 megatons of methane into the atmosphere – the equivalent of adding 107,000 cars to the road. Ratepayers footed the bill, paying utilities over $5 million dollars to cover the lost gas.
Our reliance on fracked gas and other fossil fuels causes the most harm in frontline environmental justice communities. Power plants, compressor stations, extraction sites, and pipelines are often sighted in low-income, black, brown, indigenous and immigrant communities. The health and safety of these communities has been sacrificed so fossil fuel companies can sell products that warm our climate and hurt our health.