Michigan wants farms to give up free but risky natural gas

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The state of Michigan is urging farmers to give up free natural gas.

The Michigan Agency for Energy says 129 properties, mostly in the center of the state, are tapping into natural gas wells or pipelines for free. But the state says there are risks, especially if there's a leak. The lines don't give off a rotten egg smell that warns people about a problem.

The state also says unprocessed gas can damage appliances and potentially cause fires. The energy agency is offering up to $1,500 to replace appliances that may have been damaged by unregulated gas. Farm owners must show that they've signed up with a utility or are using propane or pellets.

The incentive ends Dec. 17.

For more information: http://www.michigan.gov/energy .

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