South Philly Review
By Susan Patrone - Letter to the Editor
May 26, 2016
Pound for pound, methane is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide for trapping greenhouse gases. In 2014, the gas and oil industry leaked nine million metric tons of methane pollution into the air.
To the Editor:
Do you know that there are invisible oil spills leaking into our air every day?
These invisible spills are methane gas. Methane is the waste of natural gas extraction and transportation. Pound for pound, methane is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide for trapping greenhouse gases. In 2014, the gas and oil industry leaked nine million metric tons of methane pollution into the air.
Every day we breathe and absorb this methane waste, along with smog forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and one specifically insidious toxic air pollutant: benzene.
There is some good news. The Environmental Protection Agency has just finalized a first protective measure.
We now have a Federal Methane Leakage Standard for new and modified natural gas infrastructure like well pads, pipelines and compressor stations. These federal safeguards are proven, low-cost safeguards. We need to take the next step and maximize public safety to include the existing natural gas infrastructure within this rule.
We already have an aging network of gas pipelines that connect all our homes. There are plans to expand our fossil fuel infrastructure to make Philadelphia an “energy hub.” Couldn’t we better deploy resources and create jobs to secure the safety of our existing infrastructure and most importantly our citizens?