Gas

GAS

Like coal and oil, natural gas is a fossil fuel. Fossil fuels (which we burn to power transportation, heating & cooling, and electricity) are non-renewable sources of energy formed in the earth over the past millions of years, typically from the remains of marine microorganisms and plants. Sealed off from oxygen and put under ever-increasing amounts of heat and pressure, this organic matter undergoes a thermal breakdown process that ultimately converts it to hydrocarbons.

The lightest of these hydrocarbons occur in a gaseous state known collectively as “natural gas,” which in its pure form is a colorless, odorless gas composed primarily of methane.

Natural gas currently supplies nearly 1/3 of the United States’ primary energy and is the primary heating fuel for approximately half of U.S. households.

Natural gas is a growing energy source — generating less carbon dioxide than coal when burned and cheaper than other fossil fuels.

It has been seen by many as playing a strategic role in the clean energy transition — a means to reduce both local air pollution and coal-associated carbon emissions, a means of quick-ramping dispatchable and reliable power, a plentiful, economically-attractive fuel. However, concerns about methane emissions and the overall carbon budget have called into question the future for gas.

What is natural gas?

CURRENT NEWS

National Grid announces $4B plan to upgrade upstate New York power grid

By Patrick Cooley 03/21/24
National Grid, which serves Massachusetts and New York State, said Wednesday it is investing $4 billion to upgrade upstate New York’s power grid.
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Gas Industry Blocks Building Codes Meant To Make Going Electric Cheaper

By Alexander C. Kaufman 03/21/24
The natural gas industry pulled off an 11th-hour victory in its campaign to strip climate-friendly rules out of the latest update to the homebuilding guidelines used in most of the United States.
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Fossil Fuel Cash Is Fracking Democrats’ Climate Support

By Josh Keefe 03/20/24
When President Joe Biden announced in January that he was temporarily halting approvals of new liquefied natural gas exports and processing terminals, Emma Guevara welcomed the news. A resident of Brownsville, Texas — a historically…
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Companies Are Poised to Inject Millions of Tons of Carbon Underground. Will It Stay Put?

By Nicholas Kusnetz 03/20/24
After more than a century of pulling carbon from underground, a rush is underway to pump it back down. Companies have applied for scores of permits across the country to inject carbon dioxide deep into…
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Battered by hurricanes and tired of rebuilding, 90% of population has left this coastal town

By Nidhi Sharma and Lauren Wilson 03/19/24
Seven days a week, Tressie LaBove Smith makes the two-hour round trip from Lake Charles to what’s left of her Cajun restaurant in Cameron, Louisiana, an unincorporated town perched along the stormy Gulf Coast. Business…
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Biden’s LNG Freeze Delaying Projects and Risking US Market Share

By Ruth Liao and Stephen Stapczynski 03/15/24
The Biden administration’s pause on new licenses for liquefied natural gas exporters is already stalling progress for projects that were aiming to come online later this decade.
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US natural gas pipeline accidents pose big, unreported climate threat

By Nichola Groom 03/08/24
Last October, an Idaho farmer using a backhoe punched a hole into a 22-inch (56-cm) pipeline buried under a field, sending more than 51 million cubic feet of natural gas hissing into the air. While…
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One big downside of LNG exports: Price swings for US gas consumers

By Julian Spector 03/06/24
Electricity bills in Louisiana didn’t use to fluctuate based on geopolitical turmoil on the other side of the world. But when Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022 and kicked off a fossil gas shortage in…
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The Toxic Reality of “Natural” Gas

03/05/24
This season . . . love’s not the only thing in the air. Tune in to the explosive new show where one unsuspecting homeowner with a “natural” gas hookup is forced to live with 21…
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A methane well that leaked for 6 months has released a year’s worth of emissions for 791,000 cars: report

By Matthew Loh 02/16/24
A methane well in Kazakhstan is estimated to have released 140,000 tons of gas into Earth's atmosphere, as it leaked for 205 days in one of the world's worst-ever blowouts, environmental scientists said. The new…
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US plans lowest amount of new gas-fueled power in 25 years

By Jack Quinn 02/16/24
Solar energy and battery storage are expected to constitute more than 80 percent of new large-scale energy installations in the U.S. this year, according to an analysis released Thursday by the Energy Information Administration. At…
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The New Hydrogen Rules Risk Opening the Door to Methane Offsets

By Emily Grubert and Danny Cullenward 02/09/24
In late December, the Treasury Department proposed draft regulations to implement the Inflation Reduction Act’s generous hydrogen production tax credit. Under Section 45V of the tax code, eligible projects must show that their life cycle…
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KEY RESOURCES

Is Natural Gas A Fossil Fuel? Here’s What to Know

02/18/22
Is natural gas a fossil fuel? The answer to this question is a bit complicated. Natural gas is, in fact, a fossil fuel, but it is not the same type of fossil fuel as coal…

Creating safe, healthy & affordable communities through all-electric, Clean energy ​homes & buildings

02/02/22
The Building Decarbonization Coalition unites building industry stakeholders with energy providers, environmental organizations and local governments to power our nation's homes and workspaces with clean energy.

Pennsylvania State Energy Profile

10/21/21
Pennsylvania's marketed natural gas production, primarily from the Marcellus Shale, reached a record 7.1 trillion cubic feet in 2020, and the state is the nation's second-largest natural gas producer after Texas. Pennsylvania is the third-largest…

FracTrackerVideos

05/19/21
This video highlights FracTracker Alliance's current staff and why we do what we do.

Natural Gas

04/25/20
Natural gas is a vital component of the world’s supply of energy. It is one of the cleanest, safest, and most useful of all energy sources. Despite its importance, however, there are many misconceptions about…

Natural Gas

04/22/20
Natural gas is an abundant resource across the United States, and new discoveries and extraction methods have led to a dramatic rise in shale gas development -- making America the world’s leading natural gas producer.

What You Need To Know About Energy: Natural Gas

03/05/20
Natural gas provides 29% of our energy and is used to heat about half the homes in the United States. It is also a raw material in a variety of common products, such as paints, fertilizers,…

Natural gas explained

03/05/20
U.S. dry natural gas production in 2020 was about 33.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), an average of about 91.5 billion cubic feet per day and the second-highest annual amount recorded. Most of the production increases…

MORE NEWS

US LNG pause could hurt long-term Mexican plans

By Rebecca Conan   02/05/24  
"Biden's decision could pose a challenge to the long-term plan of developers eyeing to serve Asian markets from Mexico with US-produced natural gas, especially in the case of prospective projects that are yet to secure…
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Texas Democrats urge Biden to ‘refocus’ LNG policy

By James Osborne   02/02/24  
A group of House Democrats from Texas, California and Alaska wrote to President Joe Biden on Friday urging him to “refocus” his administration’s policies on the export of liquefied natural gas.
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What Biden’s LNG ‘pause’ could mean for 4 multibillion-dollar projects with Texas ties

By Amanda Drane   02/02/24  
Four multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas projects under development by Texas companies are in limbo after the Biden administration paused LNG export permitting last week, jeopardizing hundreds of millions of dollars their developers have invested.
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Pipeline giant plans major Southeast gas project

By Zach Bright and Carlos Anchondo   02/02/24  
Pipeline heavyweight Williams Cos. is expected to file initial paperwork soon with federal energy regulators on a large pipeline expansion project in the Southeast.
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“These streets should be paved with gold”

By Emily Atkin   01/30/24  
On Friday, the Biden Administration announced a temporary pause on Department of Energy permit approvals for new liquified methane gas, or LNG, export terminals.
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Biden Paused New LNG Terminals. The Real Test of the Climate Movement Begins Now.

By Robinson Meyer   01/26/24  
Perhaps the biggest political test of the climate movement has now arrived. There are a few ways to think about this. But first, the facts: The Biden administration will temporarily stop approving new liquified natural…
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Statement from President Joe Biden on Decision to Pause Pending Approvals of Liquefied Natural Gas Exports

01/26/24  
In every corner of the country and the world, people are suffering the devastating toll of climate change. Historic hurricanes and floods wiping out homes, businesses, and houses of worship. Wildfires destroying whole neighborhoods and…
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Um, I think we all just won

By Bill MCKibben   01/25/24  
Biden is halting the biggest fossil fuel expansion on earth
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White House Said to Delay Decision on Enormous Natural Gas Export Terminal

By Coral Davenport   01/24/24  
The Biden administration is pausing a decision on whether to approve what would be the largest natural gas export terminal in the United States, a delay that could stretch past the November election and spell…
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US gas-fired capacity to grow, even under 95% carbon reduction scenario: NREL

By Ethan Howland   01/12/24  
Fossil-fueled power plants without carbon capture equipment would produce 14% of U.S. electricity by 2050, according to “mid-case” modeling by a DOE laboratory.
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Column: Yes, wind turbines kill birds. But fracking is much worse

By Sammy Roth   01/11/24  
“Golden eagle’s death sparks shutdown of wind farm.” “Criminal cases for killing eagles decline as wind turbine dangers grow.” “Proposed wind farm fuels debate about threats and benefits to migrating birds.” Those are all recent…
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Hochul to target limiting gas system expansion, transmission siting

By Marie J. French   01/09/24  
Gov. Kathy Hochul wants to curtail the expansion of the state’s gas system and align utility rules with the state’s climate law.
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US Becomes Top LNG Exporter After Overtaking Australia and Qatar

By Ruth Liao   01/03/24  
The US has become the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas for the first time, with 2023 shipments overtaking leading suppliers Australia and Qatar.
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US was top LNG exporter in 2023 as hit record levels

By Curtis Williams   01/03/24  
U.S. liquefied natural gas exports hit monthly and annual record highs in December, tanker tracking data showed, with analysts saying it positioned the United States to leapfrog Qatar and Australia to become the largest exporter…
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Federal court won’t reconsider decision to overturn Berkeley, California, natural gas ban

By Ysabelle Kempe   01/02/24  
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will not reconsider its decision to overturn Berkeley, California’s first-in-the-nation ban on natural gas hookups in new construction, according to a denial on Jan. 2.
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New study shows liquefied natural gas might be worse for climate change than coal

By Chase Cain   11/29/23  
One of the world’s biggest sources of energy, thought to be a replacement for coal, might be even worse for the environment than the energy sources it wants to replace and could be responsible for…
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Democrats tell DOE to reboot natural gas export reviews

By Carlos Anchondo   11/15/23  
The Department of Energy should update how it decides whether licenses for natural gas export projects are in the public interest, more than 60 Democratic lawmakers told the agency in a letter Tuesday.
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Georgia’s largest utility looks to natural gas as it says it needs to generate more electricity soon

By Jeff Amy   10/28/23  
Georgia Power Co. says increased demand for electricity is coming fast, asking regulators Friday to let it secure more power generation ahead of schedule.
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Feds OK natural gas pipeline expansion in Pacific Northwest over environmentalist protests

By Claire Rush   10/20/23  
Federal regulators on Thursday approved the expansion of a natural gas pipeline in the Pacific Northwest over the protest of environmental groups and top officials in West Coast states, who said it goes against the…
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One key step in the energy transition? No new gas lines.

By Allyson Chiu and Maxine Joselow   10/18/23  
Some buildings in the future could feature one notable difference from many that exist today: no connection to a gas line. That’s one of the recommendations in a sweeping report from the National Academies of…
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The next front in the climate fight: U.S. exports of natural gas

By Maxine Joselow and Timothy Puko   10/17/23  
Environmentalists are gearing up for their next giant climate fight: They want to force a showdown with the Biden administration over the massive expansion of U.S. natural gas exports. Less than a decade ago, U.S.…
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It seems like the next big fight

By Bill MCKibben   09/25/23  
The great privilege of being a journalist is that you get to ask questions, and people generally answer them, so you find stuff out. And sometimes that stuff is shocking.
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The Biden Administration’s Next Big Climate Decision

By Bill McKibben   09/22/23  
Earlier this year, the Biden Administration approved the Willow Project, a huge oil-drilling complex to be built in Alaska on thawing permafrost that may need to be mechanically refrozen before it can be drilled. Not…
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Pipeline problems could cut off nation’s 100-year gas supply

By Anthony Hennen   09/14/23  
A recent analysis determined the United States sits on a century's worth of gas supply, but industry experts warn there aren't enough pipelines to access it. The report from the Potential Gas Committee, part of…
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US again leads world in growing gas exports, climate-damaging emissions

09/13/23  
The United States regained the dubious distinction as the world’s top exporter of liquified methane gas (LNG) in the first half of 2023, the U.S. Energy Information Administration announced Tuesday.
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New Pennsylvania Legislation Aims to Classify ‘Produced Water’ From Fracking as Hazardous Waste

By Jake Bolster   09/06/23  
Katie Muth knew it would be a long shot. This January, the Pennsylvania state senator reintroduced three pieces of legislation aimed at closing loopholes in the laws governing how the oil and gas industry disposes…
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New gas pipeline rules floated following 2018 blasts in Massachusetts

By The Associated Press   08/24/23  
Federal regulators are proposing a series of rules changes aimed at toughening safety requirements for millions of miles of gas distribution pipelines nationwide following a string of gas explosions in Massachusetts in 2018.
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Why Texas regulators refuse to investigate role pipelines played in 2021 blackouts

By Chris Tomlinson   08/16/23  
If a gas station on an interstate highway raised prices by 1,500 percent during an evacuation from a hurricane, state and federal authorities would prosecute the owner to the fullest extent of the law.
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Environmental groups mount legal challenge to Alaska natural gas export approval

By Yereth Rosen   08/11/23  
Two environmental groups on Friday asked a federal appeals court to overturn the Biden administration’s approval of exports from Alaska’s yet-unbuilt project that would ship natural gas from the North Slope.
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‘Death stars on sinking land’: How liquefied natural gas took over the Gulf Coast

By Lylla Younes and Jake Bittle   08/02/23  
To visit the country’s newest hub for exporting liquefied gas to Europe, follow the Mississippi River southeast from New Orleans, past the recently shuttered Phillips 66 refinery in Alliance and deeper into Plaquemines Parish, a…
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Green groups demand US end talks on natural gas certification

By Timothy Gardner   07/20/23  
A group of nearly 150 environmental justice groups urged the Biden administration on Wednesday to abandon talks with global energy companies on standards for "certified" natural gas, a form of the fuel that producers market…
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Gas leaked from bad fitting at Pennsylvania chocolate factory where 7 died in blast, report says

By Michael Rubinkam   07/18/23  
Natural gas leaked from a defective fitting at a Pennsylvania chocolate factory where a powerful explosion leveled one building, heavily damaged another and killed seven people, federal safety investigators said Tuesday as they continued to…
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Chart: The US is now exporting more LNG than ever before

By Maria Virginia Olano   07/14/23  
While the Biden administration touts the success of the Inflation Reduction Act and its other clean energy accomplishments, a contradictory trend is quietly unfolding: The U.S. is exporting record-breaking amounts of liquefied natural gas. In…
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Leaks Can Make Natural Gas as Bad for the Climate as Coal, a Study Says

By Hiroko Tabuchi   07/13/23  
Natural gas, long seen as a cleaner alternative to coal and an important tool in the fight to slow global warming, can be just as harmful to the climate, a new study has concluded, unless…
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Mountain Valley Pipeline Halted as Legal Wrangling Heats Up

By Coral Davenport   07/12/23  
A federal court in Richmond has halted construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, setting off a battle with Congress that could end up at the Supreme Court.
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Gas industry knew about indoor pollution from stoves 50 years ago, investigation reveals

By Lottie Limb   07/03/23  
The American Gas Association was aware about health concerns in the early 1970s, rediscovered documents show. The gas industry has known that its stoves could be harmful to human health for more than 50 years,…
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America’s Biggest Power Source Wasn’t Built for Extreme Weather

By Naureen Malik   06/27/23  
In the 15 years since the American fracking boom unleashed a torrent of abundant, cheap and domestically available natural gas, the country has leaned into the fuel — and hard. Hundreds of new, state-of-the-art gas…
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Montana gas power plant can resume construction, judge rules

By Matthew Brown   06/10/23  
NorthWestern Energy will resume construction of a natural gas power plant along Montana’s Yellowstone River following a two-month delay, a company spokesperson said Friday, after a state judge revived a pollution permit for the project…
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Climate advocates protest Mountain Valley Pipeline outside White House

By Ellie Silverman   06/08/23  
Danger Winslow held a microphone in his hand — the stand too tall for the 7-year-old to reach — and told hundreds of people why he returned to the nation’s capital to protest.
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Looking at the White House Through Wildfire Smoke

By Bill McKibben   06/08/23  
I’m sitting on a rocking chair just outside the White House fence on Thursday afternoon, and I can more or less make out the seat of American executive power through the haze. In the morning,…
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The debt ceiling deal bulldozes a controversial pipeline’s path through the courts

By Bill Chappell   06/01/23  
The controversial natural gas pipeline has been stalled by court challenges — but now the Mountain Valley Pipeline has new momentum, thanks to a debt ceiling deal that gives sweeping approvals to the project.
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Major polluter escapes EPA power plant rule

By Benjamin Storrow   05/25/23  
The agency goes easy on gas-fired steam turbines, which generally operate only when demand is high. But the units are among the country's largest emitters of planet-warming pollution.
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Federal Agency Lawfully Approved $39 Billion Alaska LNG Project

By Samantha Hawkins   05/16/23  
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission lawfully authorized a liquefied natural gas project in Alaska, the D.C. Circuit ruled Tuesday—denying environmental groups’ petition to review the decision.
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The U.S. is taking a giant step toward meeting its climate goal

By Timothy Puko   05/11/23  
The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced a proposal for the tightest limits ever on power plants’ planet-warming pollution, a policy it must enact to meet President Biden’s pledge to halve U.S. emissions by 2030…
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Climate misinformation is becoming law

By Arielle Samuelson and Emily Atkin   05/11/23  
It was a big deal when Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a law designating methane gas as “green energy” in January. The bill’s passage was covered by local news, national news, industry publications and glossy…
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New York becomes the first state to ban natural gas stoves and furnaces in most new buildings

By Rachel Ramirez and Ella Nilsen   05/03/23  
New York is the first state in the country to ban natural gas and other fossil fuels in most new buildings – a major win for climate advocates, but a move that could spark pushback…
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Here’s what sets Denver’s mayoral finalists Mike Johnston and Kelly Brough apart on climate change

By Sam Brasch   05/03/23  
The lack of discussion makes some sense if you’re a political consultant. When Denverite surveyed more than 100 residents last summer, the environment ranked as the fourth most important issue behind housing affordability, crime and…
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New York poised to pass first statewide law banning natural gas in new buildings

By Emma Newburger   05/02/23  
New York is poised to become the first state in the country to pass a law banning fossil fuel combustion in most new buildings, getting rid of gas stoves, furnaces and propane heating in favor…
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How will court’s rebuke of Berkeley’s natural-gas ban affect the national movement it began?

By Katie Lauer   04/30/23  
When Berkeley became the first U.S. city to ban construction of new natural gas lines in 2019, it pioneered an approach to reducing carbon emissions and pollutants that has since spread around the Bay Area…
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National Grid plans to hike gas bills by 17%, files plan with regulators

By Christian Murray   04/29/23  
The company filed its proposed rate increases on Friday with the New York State Public Service Commission, the governing body that must sign off on them before they can go into effect. The proposal calls…
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