We'd like to share some excerpts from consumer surveys conducted in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.
QUESTION: Who gave the gas utility permission to dump their hazardous waste inside the customer's premises?
ANSWER: I didn't know they dumped anything on us. But after reading your California Gas Warning, I can see where they are dumping their chemical waste on us. They also get away with making you pay them for the dumping privilege. I wonder if this goes on in Seattle?
ANSWER: What are you saying? I don't understand your question. Are you telling me gas companies are dumping chemicals on me? That's so absurd, I can't grasp the concept. What I hear you say is so inconceivable to me that I don't know how to respond. You Californians really are different. Wait, please don't go away, I'd like to know more.
ANSWER: I'll tell you who gave them permission. It's those laid back hippies in California who aren't concerned enough to read. There's so much out there to monitor and comprehend that it's easy to miss this kind of warning. Hurrah for the researcher, he should get a medal.
ANSWER: Those big corporations don't need anyone's permission! We don't really have any say in who does or does not give a utility permission to do anything. They own the game and they do what they darn well please. This isn't a consumer or regulatory issue, it's corporate greed pure and simple.
ANSWER: I don't agree. It sounds like the public got blindsided by the gas people who know more about gas than we do and they're taking advantage of a situation that's gotten out of hand. I say, consumers have the power to bring about change, if we know the facts. That's not saying much for the news media is it. Why haven't the papers or TV picked up on this. You'd think with all of the media stars pushing for ratings, they sure missed one heck of a story.
QUESTION: What secret protects gas utilities from pollution sanctions?
ANSWER: I'd like to talk about the secret thing your asking about. There is no secret. If there is an answer, it probably is the fact that things like this just slip by the cops. Until somebody digs into it, pulls out the facts, and gets public exposure, I don't think anything is going to change. Corporations know how to play the game of swamping their opposition with law suits piled one on top of another. I'll put a gas filter on my home because I won't wait for a committee to solve my problems.
QUESTION: Did you know natural gas isn't natural - It's Contaminated
ANSWER: So what? A lot of things we use are contaminated and aren't natural, whatever natural means. If natural means the gas is 90% methane and the rest is not, who cares? All I want is the gas to do it's job. What bothers me is the other 10% you say is dangerous. Whether this dangerous stuff is natural or not, it's in my gas and they shouldn't be allowed to put that stuff on the market.
QUESTION: Have you seen California's Gas Warning?
ANSWER: I want to comment on California's 65 gas warning. I thought I was thorough in taking care of my household. I have always paid my bills promptly and without late charges. I read everything I can to protect my family. After talking with your survey team in August I decided to do my own investigation. To see if your really telling the truth, so I dug out all of my gas bills. Buried in those papers were little coupons that look like insurance policy writing. Everyone of those coupon warnings are the same size, with the same ittie bittie printing, which I can't read. My eyesight isn't what it used to be, it's difficult to read such small print.
I especially wanted to look you up to tell you and everyone else, that your absolutely correct. My gas warning supports the things you warn us about, but the utility has omitted a lot of other the things you mention. Go bless you for your work and to keep us informed.
ANSWER: We don't have any gas warnings here in B.C. You Californians have the jump on us in that respect. But, Canadians are just as concerned about our environment as you are and I'm sure we can rise to the call.
ANSWER: I don't know if your aware of it or not, but we don't have the protection here in Canada that your first amendment rights give you in the States. I think such a public gathering could be a problem for you.
QUESTION: Did you know contaminated gas means contaminated consumer products.
ANSWER: It's logical that if the gas used to make the bread I eat is contaminated, then maybe my bread is. But how much gas contamination can there be in a slice of bread? Isn't your premise that all products made with dirty gas is contaminated, a weak position? How can you make such statements without testing the products first?
ANSWER: Apparently, you didn't see the California Gas Warning they are sharing with us. It says the Governor and the State have already determined that gas is contaminated and we should be warned about it. Frankly, I've been using California gas for forty years and I didn't know about this warning.
ANSWER: I'm a grandmother with a large family. I've seen food allergies, food poisoning, and sickness in my day, and I can tell you from my own experience. If something is dirty - it's dirty. If something causes contamination - then there is contamination. I'm not going to wait for tests to tell me not to buy such and such product. I know better. And who's going to pay for all of the those tests anyway?
Why doesn't someone put a seal of approval on the products telling us they're gas safe? That would make me feel better when I'm shopping, and I do love to shop. If we can't trust the gas company, at least with a seal we can trust the manufacturer.
QUESTION: Is There a Beautiful Side To Natural Gas Or Is It A Beast.
ANSWER: The beauty in natural gas is people. People can make things beautiful or ugly. It takes people to see the beauty in something and appreciate it. I think you can find all kinds of beautiful things about gas. Just look at all of the beautiful faces around us, there's your beauty.
ANSWER: I like the beast idea. It really describes those gas people. In my mind, a beast is something that is self-serving, self-centered, selfish, a bully, a threat, untrustworthy, cowardly, omnipotent, and a lot of other beastly things. If your looking for a symbol to represent the beast in gas, just look at a gas utility, there's your beast.
QUESTION: Here is a do it yourself home Gas test.
ANSWER: I work for XYZ gas, and I can tell you that there is no way your going to get a clear blue flame in your home gas test. There's so much stuff in the pipes that it's impossible to keep it out of your home unless you use some kind of a filter. I can assure you we deliver a clean product.
ANSWER: I'm a restaurant chef, I've never seen a gas flame that wasn't multi-colored and we keep our cooking appliances immaculately clean. But I do know, when we use portable propane cookers in the banquet rooms, that flame is clear blue. There definitely is something coming out of the gas pipes as far as I'm concerned.
QUESTION: Did you know there is a solution.
ANSWER: I'm not one to sit around waiting for something to happen. I know enough about filters to make my own and install it myself. How do I handle my homeowners insurance? That's a question I didn't think about. I guess I can do it on my own, or maybe ask them for their opinion.
ANSWER: I like that idea about home owners insurance. The insurance industry is as concerned about environmental pollution as the rest of us. We have a rider on our policy that lowers our insurance rates when we install a smoke detector inside our house. Maybe the insurance people would be just as interested in supporting a gas filter as they are about supporting smoke detectors.
ANSWER: It will be interesting to see what kind of reaction you get when you go public with this story. We're a quirky society that hauls a grandmother into court for putting coins in parking meters. Bans a preschooler from hugging his classmates, and re-elects a rampant womanizer for president. While we ignore white collar crime because it's invisible, and slap a disadvantaged criminal with 12 years for shoplifting food because he's visible. The gas industry is an invisible white collar career criminal loaded with legal talent, which makes it almost impossible to nail them.
ANSWER: I served in three wars and experience tells me, "Keep the politicians out of this confrontation, defeat the enemy, fix the problem, save the civilians and then get the government to proclaim a national holiday. That's how you win wars."
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