Here’s a question for buyers wanting to privatize Philadelphia Gas Works: How quickly would you modernize the city’s aging, leaky miles of gas mains?
It’s not just a Philly problem: The New York Times reports about how big East Coast cities are prone to this kind of aging infrastructure. But Philly isn’t a bad example of it either: The Times reports that Philly experiences 76 gas main leaks per 100 miles of pipe —second only to New York’s Consolidated Edison among cities with more than 1000 miles of gas line. Among such cities Philly is third, with 39 percent of its gas mains installed before 1940. (That’s when people who are 100 years old now were just 26. If you want to think about it like that.)
So: Who’s more likely to give us gas mains younger than our great grandparents? City Hall? Or private buyers from Connecticut? Somebody’s going to be sure to answer this question, right?