Climate Change & Adaptation / Energy & Efficiency / Methane & Natural Gas

Methane Leaks Hurt Our Wallets—and Our Climate

You might think the energy conservation options you choose every day—like air-drying your clothes or turning down the thermostat—are enough to lower your bills. But did you know that you’re getting charged for gas you’re not even using? Right now in Connecticut, natural gas distribution companies can bill their customers for the cost of “lost and unaccounted for” gas that leaks from pipes in the distribution system. That’s really bad for consumers, but even worse for our planet.

Natural gas is primarily methane, a potent greenhouse gas far worse than carbon dioxide. In fact, you might even say that natural gas has a methane problem.

As the state’s reliance on natural gas continues to expand, we must take this methane problem seriously. Fortunately, a bill before the Energy and Technology Committee offers a solution to give gas companies a much-needed incentive to repair their leaks.

Source: Natural Resources Defense Council Leaking Profits report

Source: Natural Resources Defense Council “Leaking Profits” report

This Tuesday, March 4, the committee is holding a public hearing on HB 5410, which would limit the amount of lost gas that companies can recover from ratepayers. A similar bill has been working in New York state for years. The current no-limit system means that gas companies have no incentive to repair leaks or broken pipes, instead continuing to charge ratepayers for gas that simply escapes into our atmosphere. The price of this negligence? In 2012, gas leaks cost Connecticut ratepayers nearly $4 million.

We rely on our activists to support our legislative efforts, so please take a few minutes to ask the committee to help eliminate methane leaks. Another bill under consideration on Tuesday would regulate toxic fracking waste as hazardous wasteanother smart move to protect our environment and citizens. (We think the Environment Committee’s bill to ban fracking waste is even better.)

You can use this model testimony and add your own thoughts and opinions to show legislators why the issue affects people all across the state. (If you’d like the sample testimony sent to you as an editable Word document, just let us know.) Email your testimony to et.testimony@cga.ct.gov by 8:00 AM Tuesday morning, and please send a copy to lmcmillan@ctenvironment.org. Thanks!

Want to do even more? We’d love to hear you speak at the hearing!

Tuesday, March 4 at 11:30 AM
Room 2E, Legislative Office Building
300 Capitol Ave., Hartford

Sign-up for speaking at the hearing begins at 10:00 AM in Room 2E. Send your testimony by email by 8:00 AM or bring the clerk 30 hard copies when you sign up. The first hour of the hearing will be reserved for officials, and each speaker will be allowed three minutes. If you’d like to speak but can’t be there at 10, email lmcmillan@ctenvironment.org by Monday evening and we can put you on the list.

Posted by Sarah Ganong, Media Coordinator for CFE/Save the Sound.

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