Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. A special odor is added to natural gas. You know that smell meant to warn you of possible trouble? Last weekend, New York officials added an odor to mask the odor. They were fixing a pipeline in Harlem, and didn't want a flood of 9-1-1 calls over gas leaks that weren't considered dangerous because they were in the open.
So they masked the smell by adding cinnamon to the gas. We have no word if area coffee shops sold out of rolls.
A radical shift in the world energy picture is raising environmental concerns in the United States.
Until recently, the U.S. had been expected to import more natural gas. But now, because of controversial technologies like "fracking," drillers are producing a lot more domestic natural gas; so much that prices are down, along with industry profits. And drillers are looking overseas for new customers.
A natural gas company in Great Falls, Mont., wanted to educate consumers. So it printed up 25,000 scratch-and-sniff cards to show how a gas leak would smell. Then yesterday, the company tossed some of the cards. And as they were crushed in a garbage truck, the gas smell filled the town.
Several buildings were evacuated after people reported gas leaks. The company apologized, but said that their campaign, in a sense, worked.