Why’d the House pass our gas leak amendment…

and not keep the Governor from making us pay for new gas supply pipelines? Or require the utilities to buy more renewable energy? Or mandate more wind power? After all,  those were higher priorities for the state’s climate and environmental movement than gas leaks.

We can only guess at the workings of Speaker DeLeo’s mind. So here are two guesses.

One: grassroots organizing. The gas leak amendment’s author, Rep. Lori Ehrlich, credited our gas leak coalition for our win. We got some 35 cities across the state to pass resolutions supporting her bill, we got gas leaks onto the front page of the Boston Globe, and maybe most important, we’ve made gas leaks a front-burner issue (sorry). In the end, Ehrlich said, some 120 of the House’s 160 members signed letters or otherwise supported her bill. If her bill came up as an amendment to the omnibus energy bill the House was considering, it was going to pass.

But the other front-burner issues came up too, and House leadership set them aside. So there has to be more. Maybe bigger money is involved in new gas supply pipelines and the state’s renewable energy mix than in the specialized issue of gas leaks. Maybe the gas utility companies were caught off guard. (That won’t happen when the energy bill goes to the Senate, which is now. We need to make sure the Senate strengthens the gas leak section of the bill.)

What’s your explanation?