Since October of 2015, a “mega-leak” of natural gas at a Southern California Gas Company well in Aliso Canyon has been pumping methane into the air around the Valley community of Porter Ranch—in the first month alone, the leak was responsible for about a quarter of California’s total methane emissions. About the only thing coming out of Porter Ranch at greater frequency than methane gas is a continual stream of bad news for residents (and the residents themselves as they relocate). Last week, it was reported that Porter Ranch residents fleeing the headaches and nosebleeds they suffered as gas fumes invaded their homes are being price-gouged by greedy landlords providing temporary housing—that’s technically illegal now that Governor Jerry Brown has officially declared the gas leak an emergency. Then there was the disturbing news that SoCal Gas removed the well’s safety valve in 1979 and never replaced it.
But exactly how bad is the Porter Ranch gas leak? A real-time counter maintained by the Environmental Defense Fund paints an unsettling, constantly ticking picture of exactly how much gas has leaked so far and how much more enters the atmosphere as each second goes by.
More than 82,000 metric tons of methane have escaped from the leaking gas valve in Aliso Canyon since October 23 of last year. That’s nearly $13 million worth of natural gas wasted and the equivalent of burning more than 770 million gallons of gasoline. How high will it climb? Time will tell, but it will be months before SoCal Gas can get actually plug up the leak and stop the hemorrhaging.
· Aliso Canyon leak sheds light on national problem [Environmental Defense Fund]
· An Insane Amount of Natural Gas is Leaking Into the Valley’s Porter Ranch Neighborhood [Curbed LA]
· Residents Fleeing Enormous Porter Ranch Methane Leak Getting Hit With Super-High Rents [Curbed LA]
· Disastrously Leaking Gas Well in Porter Ranch Hasn’t Had a Safety Valve Since 1979 [Curbed LA]