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Sat Dec 26, 2015, 06:01 PM

Unstoppable Porter Ranch, CA, methane gas leak being called worst catastrophe since BP Gulf disaster

Methane gas continues spewing, unchecked, into the air over southern California from a fractured well to an underground storage site — at such an alarming rate that low-flying planes have necessarily been diverted by the FAA, lest internal combustion engines meet highly volatile gas and explode. This is, indeed, the biggest environmental catastrophe since the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010; and for now, there is no way to stop it.

According to the California Air Resources Board, methane — a greenhouse gas 72 times more impactful in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide — has been escaping from the Aliso Canyon site with force equivalent “to a volcanic eruption” for about two months now. So far, the total leaked gas measures somewhere around 100,000 tons — adding “approximately one-quarter to the regular statewide methane emissions” during that same time frame.

“The relative magnitude of emissions from the leak compared to other sources of methane in the State underscores the urgency of stopping the gas leak. This comes on top of any problems caused by odor and any potential impacts from exposure,” states the initial report on the Aliso leak by air quality officials. “The enormity of the Aliso Canyon gas leak cannot be overstated. Gas is escaping through a ruptured pipe more than 8,000 feet underground, and it shows no signs of stopping. As the pressure from the weight on top of the pipe causes the gas to diffuse, it only continues to dissipate across a wider and wider area,” explained Erin Brockovich, who spent time in nearby Porter Ranch investigating the leak. Officials and experts are concerned, and they can’t recall another leak of this magnitude in decades — if ever. “I asked this question of our staff of 30 years,” said Steve Bohlen, who recently left his position as state supervisor of oil and gas.

Thousands of households have evacuated the area, despite little help, much less information, from the gas company about when they might be able to return. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, SoCalGas spokesperson Michael Mizrahi claimed the company had paid to relocate and house 2,092 households — but that effort is severely lacking, says Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. Yesterday, the city attorney’s office sought a restraining order to mandate SoCalGas relocate residents in the affected area within 48 hours of their request; and it is also seeking a “special master” to oversee the entire relocation operation, which is currently being handled by the gas company. On Thursday, Los Angeles Unified School District board members voted unanimously to close two Porter Ranch schools and relocate their 1,900 students and staff to different locations for the foreseeable future. A local emergency has been declared by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Multiple lawsuits have now been initiated against SoCalGas and/or its parent company, Sempra Energy. A class-action lawsuit has also been filed on behalf of the Save Porter Ranch group; and City Attorney Mike Feuer filed a civil suit earlier this month due to the leak’s continued threat to residents’ health and damage to the environment, alleging failure by SoCalGas to prevent the leak and further exacerbation of the effects.

SoCalGas insists there will be no long-term health effects resulting from the persistent leak; but as Brockovich pointed out, “no one really knows the potential long-term side effects of benzene and radon, the carcinogens that are commonly found in natural gas.” But what’s making this massive leak so difficult to stop pertains to the storage ‘container,’ itself. In fact, there are some 300 such depleted subterranean oil fields being employed this way around the United States. Aliso Canyon, a natural gas storage site since the 1970s, has one of the largest capacities: 86 billion cubic feet.

Beginning December 4th, SoCalGas crews began drilling a relief well to intercept the fissured pipe. Cement will then be poured into both to seal the wells permanently. Flaring, or setting a deliberate fire to burn off excess gas, simply isn’t an option. The mammoth scope of this leak means a flare would ultimately complicate matters even further.

“There is no stone being left unturned to get this well closed,” Bohlen stated. “It’s our top priority.” SoCalGas did have this consolation for affected residents: “We are deeply sorry for the frustration.”

At: http://www.healthfreedoms.org/unstoppable-california-gas-leak-being-called-worst-catastrophe-since-bp-spill/

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Reply Unstoppable Porter Ranch, CA, methane gas leak being called worst catastrophe since BP Gulf disaster (Original post)
forest444 Dec 2015 OP
annabanana Dec 2015 #1
forest444 Dec 2015 #2
Mbrow Dec 2015 #3
forest444 Dec 2015 #7
passiveporcupine Dec 2015 #4
Scuba Dec 2015 #5
daleanime Dec 2015 #9
SCantiGOP Dec 2015 #6
forest444 Dec 2015 #8
hopemountain Dec 2015 #13
Tab Dec 2015 #10
whereisjustice Dec 2015 #11
chervilant Dec 2015 #12
Taitertots Dec 2015 #14
Babel_17 Dec 2015 #15
Judi Lynn Dec 2015 #16
forest444 Dec 2015 #17
dbackjon Dec 2015 #18
forest444 Dec 2015 #19

Response to forest444 (Original post)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 07:11 PM

1. kick . . .n/t

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Response to annabanana (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 07:24 PM

2. Thank you, Anna.

It's amazing how little exposure these two stories (the Porter Ranch and Aliso Canyon leaks) are getting in our beloved mainstream media.

All the news that bought to print.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 07:33 PM

3. k&R

thanks for posting this, first I've heard of this.... says a lot about the MSM.... Assholes

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Response to Mbrow (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 07:43 PM

7. Thank you, Mbrow. That's just what I was thinking.

Like the methane itself, SoCalGas is fully counting on the media to bury this story.

Out of sight, out of mind.

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 07:33 PM

4. why don't they have emergency shutoffs built in along these pipes

just for events like this?

It costs money you say? Well, so will trying to bring out planet back from the brink of destruction.

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 07:34 PM

5. Holy crap! I sure hope this doesn't cause any loss of profits for SoCalGas!

 

sarcasm thingy here for those without the gene

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Response to Scuba (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 07:58 PM

9. +1

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 07:35 PM

6. Rachel Maddox has been covering this

This is the first I've seen it other than her show

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Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 07:45 PM

8. That right! Thanks for the reminder!

Rachel Maddow, America's anchor. Frankly, I'm surprised she's still on cable news at all (until Murdick buys out Comcast, that is).

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Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 08:34 PM

13. she is also covering the flint michigan's water with heavy lead contamination

- which has been going on for so long people are suffering permanent neurological damage from the lead. another story not covered by msm - but rachel has.

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 08:15 PM

10. Sadly, this is but ONE of

the many dangers of fracking. The regulatory agencies should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to happen after the first reports of contaminated wells and crap. Ultimately this should be expected. I'm wondering, though if anyone ever did a study on what the scenarios were if something goes south. This should have been a case not of "what if" but "when" and "what will we do about it". Goodness knows we've had trouble from uncapped drilling, why would this be any different?

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 08:20 PM

11. k & r

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 08:30 PM

12. Erin Brockovich

has been advocating for the residents affected by this leak since almost the beginning, IIRC. Yet another situation where a mega corporation is screwing the Hoi Polloi, because PROFITS!

Bohlen should have stopped with, "We are deeply SORRY..." and added "asswipes"!

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Sun Dec 27, 2015, 12:56 PM

14. Just remember, since we have corporations, no one responsible will ever have to pay

 

Another victory for greed.

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Sun Dec 27, 2015, 02:55 PM

15. This would make for a great story on any network

So something is messed up here in the lack of coverage.

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Sun Dec 27, 2015, 06:17 PM

16. It's not being covered in the US, with a few very rare exceptions, like Rachel Maddow.

It takes no skill at all to imagine how the US corporate "news" media would go after this story had it only happened in a country our government doesn't like at the moment. You can be sure we'd be getting daily updates, no doubt about that.

How they can pretend this hasn't happened here is mind-numbing. It's as if the corporate media has its own country floating in space somehow, as it doesn't serve the interests of the people of the United States.

This is a huge horror story, and it appears most people have no idea it has happened, and is still happening.

Thank you, forest444.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #16)

Sun Dec 27, 2015, 07:14 PM

17. We've really created a monster.

Our corporatocracy doesn't seem to want to make even token efforts anymore, and this is just another reminder of that.

I lived in the L.A. metro area for a number of years, and what we struck me particularly wasn't so much the negligence in Porter Ranch but in Aliso Canyon.

Time was, as you know, that whereas industrial accidents in working-class areas (like Porter Ranch) would often be swept under the rug, such incidents in upscale areas like Aliso Canyon (in south Orange County) would be dealt with pretty quickly - lest "taxpayers" be affected.

Today, of course, not even they are shown any deference at all. Corporate America's idea of "equality," I suppose.

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 03:51 PM

18. Jerry Brown - your hands are dirty on this

 

Refuses to make SoCalGas take responsibility. Of course, his sister and another of his buddies are on the board for Sempra, who owns SoCalGas

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 04:10 PM

19. Just incredible. Thank you for pointing this out!

Our economy really is rotten to the core. Even the "good guys" are knee deep in it.

Reminds me of the great California electricity crisis of 2001, when Governor Gray Davis had to pass up a perfect opportunity to tar the GOP as the party of destructive corporatism (Pete Wilson's deregulation, vocal GOP cheerleading, Enron, etc.) because a few people close to him were tangentially involved as well.

Not that it stopped Republicans from trying to blame Davis for the entire debacle, of course. It 99% was their baby - but they were very clever at turning the 1% that could be blamed on Davis (the corporate ties of some of his appointees) into a political asset. With an assist from the media, of course.

The result: a completely confused electorate, and 7 years of Gropenegger's giveaways and buffoonery.

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