Act October 3, to Reduce Methane Emissions

from Mothers Out Front:

Common Goals, Uncommon Partners

Tuesday, October 03, 2017 at 09:00 AM

MIT Sloan School, Wong Auditorium in Cambridge, MA

Seeking Solutions to Reduce Methane Emissions

Unknown a few years ago, significant amounts of that "clean" fossil fuel, natural gas, is actually leaking out of the thousands of miles of pipeline running throughout the US and world.  With a warming potential more than 20 time higher than CO2, controlling this carbon emission will significantly reduce the Greenhouse Gas inventory, and even save the gas companies money. New sensors and data tools can now find the leaks for reasonable cost.

Sign up for the summit as a guest of the Gas Leak Allies for the morning session (at MIT) or the afternoon one.


Curt Newton's picture

Great article in the Boston

Great article in the Boston Globe this week on the collaborativ

e development and initial testing of the FLUXbar.

...The idea for the FluxBar was sparked by steady criticism from environmental groups frustrated with the traditional approach of finding leaks, a laborious process that involved boring holes into the ground and using a monitor to locate the source of the gas. The method didn’t measure how much gas was escaping.

After a long lobbying campaign, environmental groups persuaded the utilities to try a new approach that would allow their crews to identify leaks that have spread more than 2,000 square feet. With the help of MIT students at a hackathon and a company in Hopkinton that makes similar devices, the first FluxBar was built in March, at a cost of about $1,000 apiece.

“My hope is that the gas utilities will have a better understanding of their distribution systems, and with that should come an efficiency of repairs that will help to save both the environment and ratepayer dollars,” said Brian Ferri, president of Millibar, the company that has manufactured 16 of the devices since March.

For environmental advocates, who have also criticized the utilities for how they report leaks, the gas companies still must prove that they will actually use the findings of the FluxBars to patch their larger leaks.

“The utilities now have to act on the information,” said Audrey Schulman, president of the Home Energy Efficiency Team, or HEET, a Cambridge nonprofit that helped develop the device.

The state’s three largest utilities — Columbia Gas, Eversource, and National Grid — have agreed to use the device next year on “randomly selected large volume leaks,” she said.

Read more >

Rick Shankman's picture

"Many inspiring moments in

"Many inspiring moments in the event, I'm glad for the video record."

Pictures of cleverly duped smiling housewives in yellow safety vests and hard hats with gas detectors, posing with National Grid and Eversource workers standing next to their crumbling rusted infrastructure.  The most pathetic and depressing thing I have seen (in the climate action arena) in a long time.

Rajesh Kasturirangan's picture

Rick, we understand that you

Rick, we understand that you disagree with much of the content on this site. Not a problem at all - we love debate.

However, the use of derogatory and gendered language,"duped smiling housewives," is not appropriate. ClimateX is a welcoming community and we should aim our critical arrows at the issues, not individuals. 

Rick Shankman's picture

"However, the use of

"However, the use of derogatory and gendered language, "duped smiling housewives"...

Well, Rajesh, I am at a loss for the derogatory or sexist nature of "housewivesas it refers to the almost exclusively female gendered participants seen in the Mothers Out Front event pictured.

I did however look the term up online, and found one reference suggesting that it is sometimes seen as offensive.  As such, I am now aware and offer my apologies to any offended ladies who participated in the event - duped into doing so as they may have been by the fossil fuel forces seeking to have them don yellow safety vests and hard hats (gas detectors at the ready), to do the gas companies' work for them for free.

Again, my comment had nothing to do with gender or occupation, and everything to do with the audacity of the concept and resulting display.

As for being duped, that had nothing to do with gender or occupation; as MIT ClimateX was foolish enough to co-sponsor the event.

Dave Damm-Luhr's picture




Congratulations to the organizers of the this past Tuesday’s Gas Leaks Summit (“Common Goals, Uncommon Partners: Seeking Solutions to Reduce Methane Gas Leaks”)! In an era when acrimony and demonizing opponents has become the norm, Mothers Out Front and its allies showed clearly that civil discourse is not only possible, but essential to a habitable planet. They’ve given us a constructive way to engage powerful forces (in the form of executives from three utilities) while keeping our integrity and viewpoints in tact.  All of us in the ClimateX community could learn something from their example.

Rick Shankman's picture

"ClimateX is one of the

"ClimateX is one of the sponsors of this event."

Of course it is, Rajesh!

A little digging later, I realized why...


Seeking Solutions to Reduce Methane Emissions...

Panel: Implementation and Impacts
Moderator: Jason Jay, MIT Sloan School, Sustainability Initiative 

  • Representatives of Nisource/Columbia Gas, National Grid, and Eversource"

Nope, not odd at all.

MIT ClimateX... focused on hosting Eversource.

Now I know why the 1Million strong Moms Clean Air Force is nowhere to be found at this event.

Rick Shankman's picture

Sarah, please don't get me

Sarah, please don't get me wrong; I'm thankful for anybody trying to limit natural gas (methane) leaks from infrastructure. I just have a question and brief comment...

My question is:  Am I the only one who finds it odd that MIT is hosting this event when it is not only in the process of building a natural gas-fired CUP power plant on campus, but "partnering" with Eversource to deliver natural gas to other area businesses in Cambridge?

My comment is:  Standing in mud in the Back Bay looking for methane leaks is not going to do anything about things like this... 100,000 Tons of Methane. The whole industry needs to be stopped.