To the editor:
In 2017 National Grid reported 106 unrepaired gas leaks in Danvers. In 2016 National Grid reported 62 leaks in Salem. However, a GPS survey of Salem by Bob Ackley of Gas Safety Inc. and BU professor Nathan Philips reported 232 gas leaks according to Salem Alliance for the Environment.
How much are consumers paying for these leaks? One Harvard University estimates the cost at roughly $90 million a year, as reported in a Salem News editorial of Aug. 9.
Requiring that companies simply report the leaks without forcing them to repair will not eliminate the problem.
A recent Supreme Judicial Court ruling stated “the state is not doing enough to reduce carbon emissions statewide pointing to gas leaks as a major contributor.”
Instead of forcing gas companies to fix and repair leaks, our state Legislature is proposing a carbon fee on gas, oil and coal in House Bill 2810.
While I support any and all efforts to address the impacts of climate change, I do not feel comfortable supporting a bill adding fees to consumers on top of the cost of unrepaired gas leaks.
Let’s solve this problem of gas leaks, lets force the gas companies to repair the tens of thousands of leaks in the commonwealth.
Then we can discuss and debate putting fees on our low- and middle-income households as H 2810 proposes.
Daniel C. Bennett