Is your kitchen the next battleground over the greenhouse gases?

Natural gas has been viewed as a “clean” alternative, but it got that moniker back when the lion’s share of electricity was generated by coal. With coal on the dwindle, there is a new interest in what natural gas leaves behind. For every million BTUs generated by coal, between 214 and 228 pounds of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere. While cleaner, natural gas still releases 117 pounds of CO2 while propane releases 139 pounds for each million BTUs. But that’s only part of the natural gas story. Extraction of natural gas can leak as much as 9 percent in methane – a gas 34-times stronger than carbon dioxide at trapping heat over a century and 86-times stronger over 20 years.

For those still smart enough to be following the Paris climate accord, strong reductions in greenhouse gas production are translating into rapid diminishment of gas appliances and home heating use. Europe is looking at gas-based appliances being phased out in the next decade.

Closer to home, Berkley, California, became the first U.S. municipality to ban the installation of new gas lines into new multi-family buildings. And they’re not alone. Over 50 cities and counties in California are looking at similar bans while the state is also looking at the issue. The reason is simple. It’s estimated that a quarter of greenhouse gases produced by a building come from gas appliances and heating.

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energyTexas isn’t the worst when it comes to energy costs (that dubious honor goes to Connecticut) or the best (Washington D.C.). In fact, the Lone Star State is toward the bottom when it comes to overall costs, however, anybody with an electric bill and a desire to avoid sweating will be wholly unsurprised to know that Texas ranks in the top 20 when it comes to electricity costs.

The personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2019’s Most and Least Energy-Expensive States, and Texas was ranked 32nd overall.

Source: WalletHub

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Atmos Energy workers show a tank of odorant that is added to the natural gas that is pumped into homes and businesses. (Photo: Atmos Energy)

First off: Did you know that natural gas doesn’t really have a smell? An “odorant” is added to it before it’s pumped through the lines and into your home, giving it that well-known rotten egg smell. If you get a whiff of odorant, you should get out of your home and call 911, according to Atmos Energy, the natural gas provider for most of North Texas.

That’s been the routine for some people in Lakewood who have continued to catch whiffs of natural gas — sometimes strongly — both inside and outside of their homes. In some cases, Atmos would come out and peek around, but said that a leak couldn’t be detected.

When Lakewood resident Cydney Roach smelled gas one morning, she thought her senses were playing tricks on her. The smell quickly dissipated throughout the day, so it couldn’t be natural gas, right?

That’s what she thought, until she read our story on Megan Anderson:

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