Two surprising statistics about natural gas and heating oil:

  • “Fossil fuel combustion in buildings in the United States is responsible for 9% of our total greenhouse gas pollution. Yet, unlike the other primary sectors responsible for climate disrupting pollution, pollution from buildings is almost entirely unregulated.”
  • “…fossil fuel-fired heating equipment contributions to outdoor PM2.5 alone caused roughly 6,000 premature deaths nationwide in 2017 – more than eight times as many deaths as were caused by gas-burning power plants.”


Readers are likely aware that natural gas is many times worse than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. Decarbonization of buildings, the term of art for removing gas appliances and connections from homes and businesses, is a major goal of climate change activists. Attempts to reduce or eliminate gas infrastructure have been introduced, for example, in the Washington state legislature for several years now and have been defeated by utilities and unions (particularly the pipefitters union). Decarbonization will be a major priority in the upcoming legislative session.

There is a solution that uses the current gas infrastructure at the neighborhood level (not the longer pipelines) for district heating and cooling. The construction of neighborhood heat pumps by gas utilities could replace their gas distribution with “coolant,” the gas used in heat pumps to cool houses in the summer and heat them in the winter. The gas utilities could change their business plans to develop this alternative system without losing their revenues. Source:



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