An Increase in Safety Leads to a Decrease in Emissions

  • Safety is the top priority for America's natural gas utilities.
  • According to the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, our domestic abundance of clean natural gas is delivered via the safest energy delivery system in the nation.
  • A nationwide field study by Washington State University concluded that as little as 0.1 percent of the natural gas delivered nationwide is emitted from local distribution systems.
  • Since 1990, the number of pipeline leaks have decreased 25 percent for pipeline mains and 16 percent for services. Continued efforts to upgrade and modernize the natural gas pipeline network to enhance safety are lowering emissions even further.
  • Even with the historically excellent performance of the nation's natural gas delivery system, natural gas utilities remain vigilant and committed to continually upgrading this crucial infrastructure based on enhanced risk-based integrity management programs, and this effort is lowering emissions even further.
  • 41 states and the District of Columbia have a program to facilitate accelerated replacement and modernization of natural gas distribution pipelines no longer fit for service.
  • America's natural gas utilities work with their state regulators, legislators and other key stakeholders to advance important safety policies that both enhance system integrity and reliability and support increased access to natural gas service for homes and businesses.
  • The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners has approved a resolution encouraging state regulators and industry to consider sensible programs aimed at replacing the most vulnerable pipelines as quickly as possible and to explore, examine and consider adopting alternative rate recovery mechanisms in order to accelerate the modernization, replacement and expansion of the nation s natural gas pipeline systems.
  • Since 1990, natural gas utilities have added nearly 600,000 miles of distribution mains and services to serve 17.5 million more customers.
  • Natural gas utilities have installed modern plastic pipes used for delivering gas at low pressure at a rate of 30,000 miles per year, and cathodically protected steel mains used for high pressure delivery at a rate of 1,500 miles per year, both connecting new customers and upgrading existing pipeline infrastructure. Nearly 90 percent of the emissions declines from distribution systems since 1990 are due to pipeline replacements.
  • AGA and our member companies are committed to continuing to conduct research to help inform accurate data regarding the emissions profile of the natural gas distribution industry, which will help build an understanding of where further improvement is needed.

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