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Gas leaks costing Mass. consumers $1.5b

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Natural gas consumers in Massachusetts have paid up to $1.5 billion over the last decade for fuel they never received because local utilities are not replacing hundreds of miles of old, leaky pipelines quickly enough, according to a just released congressional study.

The report uses Massachusetts as a test case to examine the issue of leaky gas pipelines nationwide. US natural gas customers paid at least $20 billion from 2000 to 2011 for gas they never received.

The problem is most acute in states like Massachusetts, where the gas pipeline system is older, according to the study, done by the Democratic staff of the House Natural Resources Committee at the request of Senator Edward Markey when he served on the panel.

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