Newsletter: Methane leak prompts scrutiny of gas wells, storage
Signs like these asking for the complete closure of the Aliso Canyon Gas Storage facility, which Southern California Gas considers an essential asset, are beginning to appear at rallies held by residents of Porter Ranch. Jan. 9, 2016, Ingrid Lobet/inewsource

Newsletter: Methane leak prompts scrutiny of gas wells, storage

The blown out natural gas well in a Los Angeles County storage field has been pouring methane into the air for 2½ months now. That flow rate has been diminishing as pressure underground declines, something Southern California Gas has been at pains to accomplish, piping gas to its other Southern California fields as fast as possible.

But at the most recent rate measured, it’s estimated the broken Aliso Canyon well is still adding about as much greenhouse gas to the atmosphere each day as 4½ million cars on the road.

Now the jaw-dropping release is sparking calls for a new watchdog system for methane, policy changes that take into account our awakened knowledge of storage fields and what we’ve learned in recent years about natural gas infrastructure in general.

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