To The Editor:
“It’s the climate equivalent of the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico: the rupture of a natural gas storage site in California that is spewing vast amounts of methane into the atmosphere and is likely to go unchecked for three months. The breach of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage site, near Porter Ranch, has forced the relocation of hundreds of families, who complained of headaches, nosebleeds and nausea from the rotten-egg smell of the odorant added to the gas to aid in leak detection.”
[private]This is how an article begins from the Guardian newspaper on December 4th. The article also quotes a spokesperson for Southern California Gas saying that the leak, that actually began on October 23rd, could take another three or four months to plug. “This is a very unique leak,” she said. “All of our attempts to kill the well haven’t worked.”
With short term impacts of methane in the atmosphere being about 80 times more potent than CO2 with regards to climate change, you would expect this leak, that is estimated at 50,000 kg per hour, would be covered on national and local news outlets around the country. Similar to the hundreds of smaller natural gas “accidents” that happen every year that you will likely only know about if you read US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration records, this major incident goes unreported unless you are getting a copy of the LA Times at your house, or reading The Guardian from London. We no longer can even rely on NPR to cover these events with the big money they receive from the natural gas associations to facilitate the industries marketing greenwashing.
When Kinder Morgan assures everyone in the path of the proposed NED pipeline that the natural gas industry is safe, and they know how to handle any issue, though they expect there never to be a problem, we now have another example of their industries’ accident that they do not know how to handle.