The Massive Danger Lurking Beneath Our Feet.

The massive methane leak in California is only the tip of a giant, dangerous iceberg. According to a new report from EcoWatch, there are more than 300 similar natural gas storage facilities around the U.S., and any one of them could be the site of the next disaster.

The ongoing leak at Porter Ranch continues to pour thousands of pounds of methane into our atmosphere every hour, and we continue to learn just how badly our natural gas infrastructure has been managed.

A recent report from LA Weekly about the Aliso Canyon leak says that the well in question was last inspected in 1976, and the safety valve that may have prevented the leak was inexplicably removed just three years later. And, while officials in California are busy dealing with that ongoing disaster, hundreds of gas wells all across our country pose a similar threat.

That's why Jennifer Krill over at EcoWatch is calling for some big changes to the way natural gas wells are managed in California, and changes that we should be implementing nation wide.

First things first, we must push for an immediate effort to shut down every natural gas well that lacks basic safety equipment, like shut off valves, before we end up with another Aliso Canyon.

Only after we are safe from another potential disaster can we implement stricter oversight and management of wells and natural gas storage facilities. We should also demand that when leaks do happen, the companies that manage these wells provide support for surrounding residents impacted by methane pollution.

The gas companies – not the tax payers – should be on the hook for financial compensation and health care costs. And, above all else, we must continue to push our nation away from all fossil fuels, including natural gas, and move to 100 percent clean energy.

Just like the BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, the Aliso Canyon leak shows what happens when we allow corporations to destroy our planet in the name of profit. We have the technology now to make that happen, but it's going to take all of us standing together to stand up to these powerful interests.


MyungSonn's picture
MyungSonn 8 years 22 weeks ago


Been many months since we heard your "Hartmann Zoo Update".

Did Wolfie ever warm up to pup?

Is Moagly a gangland name?

Which pet filled the Higgins vacuum.

Always amusing in your words.

I also dig the Science news - makes the furure bright against muggwumpy politics.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 8 years 22 weeks ago

Who is required to enforce this?

Are methane gas leaks okay in the us?

If there is anybody there to control this situation then they need to be invoked

Myung Sonn appears to be addressing an animal pet matter... for some "off topic" reason best known to himself

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 22 weeks ago

The entire energy sector should be under the control of "We the People." ...meaning regulated by a truly representative government. Remove absurd/arbitrary profits, and you remove carbon barons like the Kochs. Safety precautions and the pursuit of green energy then become a natural part of good government.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 8 years 22 weeks ago

Energy shoul be considered as part of our "commons"

Avaiable to us all

NOT just for those with money

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 22 weeks ago

But Thom, you don't understand! Long as someone is making a profit, that's all that counts. If a little methane is leaking, that's the price of progress and "growth"! If Planet Earth becomes uninhabitable we can always migrate to another planet... that is, long as you can pay the price of the ticket.

Beam me up.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 22 weeks ago

By the way, has this anything to do with liquified natural gas, or LNG? I know methane is related to that, but don't know it this is LNG or some other gas. Anybody know the answer?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 22 weeks ago

Long as we have Republicans and corporate Dems calling the shots, we can forget about the kinds of common sense remedies Thom has advocated here, because it just ain't gonna happen.

What will it take for the electorate to wake up and get active, and get rid of the Greedy Old Obstructionist Party and the corporate Dems?!!! They are literally KILLING us.

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 8 years 22 weeks ago
Quote Aliceinwonderland:By the way, has this anything to do with liquified natural gas, or LNG? I know methane is related to that, but don't know it this is LNG or some other gas. Anybody know the answer?

AIW - The primary constituant of naturtal gas IS Methane, followed by Propane and other compounds. Liquified natural gas is natural gas that has been compressed under high pressure and refrigerated to sub-zero temperatures until it condenses into a liquid, so that it may be stored or transported in a more "compact" form. The high pressures is what make LNG so dangerous. When an LNG storage tank exploded in Italy back in the mid '1970's, people over 50 km away were incinerated by the fireball, including those in a resort campground. LNG transport ships have been known to "disappear" from the face of the Earth, presumably because one of the storage tanks on the ship exploded (most LNG transport ships had three tanks). In fact, there was a fear that the entire eastern seaboard of the United States could be destroyed if a terrorist attacked just one of the hundreds of LNG storage tanks that lined the coast back in the 1970's. To my knowledge, that fear is no longer valid.

I would assume that the underground storage of natural gas is in a gas form, not as a liquid; the ground would be too warm and the pressures too high.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 8 years 22 weeks ago

MyungSonn, Mowgli (not Moagly) is the human character in "The Jungle Book".

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 22 weeks ago

Reply to #8: Thanks stecoop.

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