Environmental Policy Analyst Makes Case for Building Electrification

As some California cities move toward building electrification to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Pacific Northwest endures a deadly heat wave, and after recent news in San Francisco that gas lines have been encased in concrete during seismic retrofits, we explore the hazardous tradeoffs of burning fossil fuels in buildings. Sasan Saadat, a research and policy analyst with Earthjustice, gave “Civic” an overview of the hazards associated with gas use in homes and explains some of the shortcomings of fossil gas alternatives.

“Before gas even reaches you, and before you even burn it to cook or heat anything, it’s leaking throughout the pipeline system. It’s leaking at pilot holes and compressors and all along the infrastructure, and when it leaks into the atmosphere, the life cycle emissions and the climate impacts of gas are a lot worse, and sometimes they can outweigh the pollution impacts from coal and oil even. Of course there’s also the air pollution impacts of burning gas, especially important impacts of burning gas indoors, burning them inside homes near to where people live.”

— Sasan Saadat

A segment from our radio show and podcast, “Civic.” Listen daily at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on 102.5 FM in San Francisco, and subscribe on Apple, Google, Spotify or Stitcher