Washington Gas wants you to pay for its bad investments

What's At Stake

Urgent action is needed to prevent a major setback in Washington D.C.’s environmental and health goals. Washington Gas is planning to replace its entire gas distribution system through the 40-year Project Pipes program, a move that directly contradicts D.C.’s decarbonization objectives. This project not only undermines our climate commitments but also threatens to impose a staggering $12 billion cost on consumers. 

Despite nearly a decade of pipeline replacements under Project Pipes, there has been no significant decrease in hazardous methane leaks. In fact, in 2022, citizen scientists found hundreds of active leaks throughout D.C., some at potentially explosive levels. This is a clear indicator that the project is failing in its supposed objective to improve safety. 

Moreover, the health implications of gas combustion in buildings are alarming.  

When burned, gas releases harmful pollutants like nitrogen oxide, fine particulate matter, and formaldehyde, contributing to respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, childhood asthma, and cognitive function decline. Children, the elderly, and communities of color are at greater risk, as they are disproportionately exposed to pollution. 

It’s critical that the Public Service Commission (PSC) reconsiders its approach and prioritizes public health and safety over the interests of utility shareholders. The PSC must initiate proceedings to phase out the gas distribution system and ensure that we are not burdened with high costs and continued reliance on harmful gas appliances. 

We urge you, as residents of Washington D.C., to voice your concerns to the PSC today. Demand comprehensive energy planning and increased interagency collaboration to achieve the city’s climate goals. It’s time to transition away from fossil fuels and toward a cleaner, safer future. 

Your voice matters in this crucial matter. Together, let’s safeguard our health, environment, and future generations against the detrimental effects of unnecessary gas infrastructure expansion. 

Gas meters on a wall.
Methane gas meters. (strickke / Getty Images)

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