Markey: DOE’s QER Highlights Need to Update Natural Gas Pipelines, Fight Climate Change

Senator has pushed legislation to replace leaky pipelines, proposed today in Quadrennial Energy Review


WASHINGTON (April 21, 2015) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) hailed the release of the first installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) by Secretary Ernest Moniz and the Department of Energy, which includes recommendations to replace America’s aging, leaky, dangerous natural gas pipeline infrastructure in line with legislation pushed for several years by Senator Markey. The comprehensive report makes several other important recommendations to increase the safety and security of America’s energy infrastructure, and its ability to more effectively use clean energy and help mitigate and adapt to the paramount challenge of climate change.


Senator Markey introduced legislation in the last Congress to accelerate the repair and replacement of natural gas pipelines to save consumers money, prevent dangerous explosions and other accidents, and reduce the leaking methane pollution that exacerbates climate change. Senator Markey plans to reintroduce similar legislation again this year. The QER released today makes similar recommendations to establish a competitive program to accelerate pipeline replacement and improve the quantification of methane emissions from America’s natural gas system.


“This new quadrennial report is like the Olympics of America’s energy analysis, giving us a vital view of where we are and where we need to go to have the most affordable, stable, and sustainable energy system in the world,” said Senator Markey. “Key among those efforts is the long-overdue need to update our old, leaking, dangerous, and polluting natural gas pipelines that cost consumers money and put our first responders and our climate at risk. This visionary report is a vital roadmap towards creating a cleaner energy future that addresses climate change, and I commend Secretary Moniz and the entire Obama administration for their efforts.”


Senator Markey introduced his legislation after releasing a report that showed leaking natural gas pipelines are costing American consumers tens of billions of dollars for fuel that may never reach their homes. For example, consumers in the Senator's home state of Massachusetts paid up to $1.5 billion in extra charges from 2000-2011 for natural gas that they may have never received because of tens of thousands of miles of old, leaking pipelines. The QER also found that leaks from natural gas distribution pipelines are a significant portion of all methane leaks from our gas infrastructure and pose safety risks in densely populated areas.


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