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Loss of nuclear plants has left region relying on natural gas

As detailed in “A startling report on methane leaks” (Page A1, Oct. 26), a long-term study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found six times more methane leaking into the air around Boston from natural gas pipelines than estimated, and methane has 80 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide. If this is just in the Boston area, what is the impact nationally and globally?

Natural gas, hailed as a transitional source of energy since it emits “only” about half the carbon dioxide of coal, was used by many politicians to brandish their environmental credentials while calling for the shutdown of large baseline nuclear power plants. New England has lost about 3,000 megawatts of carbon-free electricity from the closing of these nuclear power plants in recent decades, enough to power more than 2 million homes. Most of the energy replacing these plants comes from natural gas.

We have a climate crisis, and it makes no sense to build more natural gas pipelines, such as the one proposed by Eversource. Solar and wind cannot do it alone. We also need reliable base-load nuclear plants that can operate round the clock.

Source: Boston Globe