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Every year, to mark the anniversary of the March 18, 1937 Texas School Explosion, I salute a hero for inspirational leadership and a commitment to the safety of children and their communities.
The Hero Award was created as an annual opportunity to remember the 1937 tragedy — a gas explosion that killed more than 300 people, mostly students, in their new state-of-the-art public school where no expense had been spared except when it came to safety.
One lesson the 1937 tragedy is that a safe quality environment depends on champions with an extraordinary sense of responsibility. We can't take it for granted that elected officials make community safety or health a priority.
Audrey Schulman is the 2017 Hero because of her strategic advocacy and creative leadership confronting the threat of Climate Change. She is raising awareness of methane leaks from old pipelines, engaging ever widening circles of allies and partners, and achieving major advances in utility company cooperation and infrastructure best practices.
"The federal government won’t take action
on a clean energy future, but we can.“
Creating a Culture of Responsibility.
Schulman is a master at connecting the dots from data to public policy. Policy makers, advocates and utility companies who share her sense of urgency about reducing methane emissions rely on Schulman for accurate data, beautifully designed resources, and trusted relationships.
“Audrey took the results from our 2013 Boston gas study to the next level by meticulously mapping leaks from hard-to-access records in over 200 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. Along the way she has engaged and activated communities to create a groundswell of public support to save ratepayer money, our urban trees, air quality and our climate. Audrey is a hero for all these reasons but most of all for our children's health and their future.” — Boston University Professor Nathan Phillips.
... Schulman's efforts will have implications for the efficient and quality management of gas pipelines nationwide and for shaping legislation for regulating utilities. The results will save municipalities, utilities and ratepayers the huge cost of lost gas, avoid disruptive and duplicative road work, lower the health and life-threatening safety risks of neighborhood gas leaks, and reduce the threat of climate change.