Stop Gas Pipelines From Leaking Dangerous Chemicals Into Our Air and Water

Target: Michael S. Regan, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Goal: Improve gas pipelines to prevent more dangerous chemicals from leaking into the environment.

Gas pipelines are a hotly debated topic. Some see them as an efficient way to transport fuel around the continent; others decry them a blight on the landscape and as ticking timebombs waiting to contaminate the environment. Both sides are correct, though the million dollar question is if the negative effects outweigh the positive.

This is more of a billion dollar question, 11 billion to be exact. The figure is a low end estimate from the US Department of Transportation on how much has been spent on pipeline incidents since 2002. Repairs, fires and other damage, and even fatalities are some of the ways pipelines cost big money. Environmental effects come with an even greater cost. Oil can spill into waterways and across land while leaks of methane used for natural gas can spray into the atmosphere for days on end. The Hill reports pipeline leaks like these happen every forty hours.

A recent leak of a methane well in Western Pennsylvania spewed the gas into the air for more than eleven days. Efforts to plug the leak failed, as they have in many previous incidents, which begs the need for a plan to prevent these egregious events. Whether the answer is better infrastructure or technology for closer monitoring is yet to be seen. Either way, sign the petition below, and urge EPA Administrator Regan to improve gas pipeline operations to prevent more dangerous chemicals from leaking into the environment.


Dear Administrator Regan,

Gas pipelines are out of control. While it is easy to see the benefits of this quick and easy way to fuel the nation, the almost 6000 incidents caused by the network of pipelines in the last twenty years are uncalled for. Lives have been lost in addition to the irreparable damage to the environment. Fortunately, potential solutions exist. Will you consider them?

More closely monitoring potential problems is one way to address pipeline leaks. The United Kingdom has tested robotic means of keeping tabs on leaks that may be forming in pipes. They detect points under high stress and repair them on the spot. Because they are constantly monitoring and are more efficient than human analysis, awareness of cracks or breaks comes more swiftly. Quicker detection and prevention of leaks means not as many days with harmful fuels being leaked into the environment.

Modernizing infrastructure is another approach for preventing and more effectively addressing pipeline leaks. Aerogels are past the experimental phase and a good candidate for improving pipelines. These and other interior coatings ensure a longer life for infrastructure. Current approaches mostly are limited to simply waiting for a leak to occur or hopefully catching a problem before it worsens. Nonetheless, modernizing pipelines is another surefire way to defer terrible leaks.

We urge you to act now to improve gas pipelines and prevent dangerous chemicals from leaking into the environment.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: U.S. National Archives and and Records Administration

One Comment

  1. This is yet another example of money being subverted to interests other than the one for which the government intended. We are in a climate crises and anyone with half a brain knows that as fact. Gas lines are leaking dangerous chemicals into our air and water. we have, thanks to Biden, an infrastructure money to help with this. Why don’t the gas companies help with this too! They damn well should. This simply can nit be allowed. Manchin promotes coal and other politicians are protecting Big Oil and Gas. The under the table money is too tempting to be passed up by politicians. I don’t quite fathom how these companies think they will not be affected by these poisons. We are loosing wildlife, animals, clean water, quality soil and much more. Those who feel they will live while the rest of us die are beyond stupid even if they are rich. Maybe they intend to eat money if all else fails. They are in for a surprise. We won’t make it if the world doesn’t come together to tame the climate. It is now life or death for all of us. Therefore broken pipelines need to be fixed. The company making the money must pay for that infrastructure since they are the ones making all the profit. Our taxes should not pay for their problems. But the problems must be fixed and the laws of the land need to support that view.

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