Tim Kelly, chair of the Building Codes Advisory Commission for the village of Oak Park, writes in his letter to the editor on June 21, that electrification is a “hot potato.” This is apt, because we feel the Earth we live on become hotter.
He also points out that Illinois electricity comes from coal, natural gas and nuclear power.
In the 1960s, I asked my father, an organic and nuclear chemist, what nuclear power was and he simply said, “It’s a dirty fuel,” meaning the waste’s toxicity never goes away in our lifetime. Solar, wind, hydro, and wave energy are available and much less dangerous.
A June 28 article in the New York Times delved into the health hazards of natural gas:
“The natural gas delivered to homes contains low concentrations of several chemicals linked to cancer, a new study found. Researchers also found inconsistent levels of odorants — substances that give natural gas its characteristic “rotten egg” smell — which could increase the risk of small leaks going undetected.
“The study, which was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, adds to a growing body of research that links the delivery and use of natural gas to detrimental consequences for public health and the climate.”
It goes on to say, “Over 16 months, researchers led by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health collected 234 samples of unburned natural gas from 69 homes in the Boston metropolitan area that received natural gas from three suppliers. They found 21 “air toxics” — an Environmental Protection Agency classification of hazardous pollutants known or suspected to cause cancer, birth defects or adverse environmental effects — including benzene, which was detected in 95 percent of the samples.”
Additionally, gas becomes more dangerous as its infrastructure ages and causes explosions from gas leaks.
For a history of gas leaks in the Chicago area, go to https://www.cbsnews.com/chicago/tag/gas-leak/2/