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Gas Leak Being Called Worst Catastrophe Since BP Spill

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by X R Barra

This disaster is estimated to be spewing well over 100,000 pounds of methane into the atmosphere every hour.

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 for about two months now. So far, the total leaked gas measures somewhere around 100,000 tons.

Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas®) delivers natural gas to 20.9 million consumers throughout Central and Southern California. To help keep prices low, they buy gas throughout the year and store it at facilities like the one in Aliso Canyon. Aliso Canyon, a natural gas storage site since the 1970s, has a capacity of approximately 86 billion cubic feet.

“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.”

gas leak

Though methane, itself, has no odor, the addition of odorants methyl mercaptan and tetrahydrothiophene — a safety measure to alert people — has made the enormous methane seepage impossible to ignore. 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 families — but effort is severely lacking, says Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.

New aerial footage of the leak was also released on Wednesday by the Environmental Defense Fund, which captured the intensity of the leak by infrared camera. The video footage shows a steady, thick plume pouring into the air over a densely packed residential area. It is hard to judge the width of the plume from the video, but EDF said it is pumping out 62 million cubic feet of methane into the atmosphere each day. Methane packs 80 times the 20-year warming power of carbon dioxide. https://www.rt.com/usa/326942-massive-methane-leak-relocation-california/

Another source is Yahoo.

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