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Gas & Climate Change

Methane gas from Washington Gas is burned and leaked across DC, accounting for about a quarter of DC’s greenhouse gas emissions. DC’s electricity is moving toward 100% renewable sources like wind and solar, but we’re still burning gas in our homes for heating, hot water, and cooking.

When methane gas is burned, it produces carbon dioxide, the most common climate pollutant. When released directly into the atmosphere, methane is 84 times more powerful as a climate pollutant than carbon dioxide. Research shows methane leaks from gas utilities, including Washington Gas, are likely double the official estimates.

Worse still, there’s serious methane leakage before and after the gas gets to our utility company. Those emissions – from fracking the gas, processing, and transporting it – are 60% higher than EPA estimates, according to a study published in the journal Science.

DC’s climate commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 will not be met if we continue burning fracked methane gas in our homes and other buildings. 

So what’s the answer? We need to swap out dirty fossil fuel-based equipment like gas-burning furnaces, hot water heaters, and stoves with clean and efficient electric alternatives like heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, and induction stoves.