Cali. Months-Long Methane Leak Could Be Capped By Next Week

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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An adviser to California Gov. Jerry Brown laid out plans Thursday to cap a massive gas leak near Los Angeles that has been spewing methane since October.

Brown’s senior adviser Wade Crowfoot told residents of Porter Ranch that California could begin capping the ruptured well as early as Monday. The fix is expected to take another five days to cap.

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCal Gas), the company responsible for fixing the well, was charged this week by the Los Angeles district attorney with misdemeanors for neglecting to warn state emergency officials about the leak three days after it ruptured.

SoCal Gas said in December it had dished out $50 million to cap the leak and relocate Porter Ranch citizens, though that number could be larger as the company has not given any updates since.

The number of displaced people has increased to 4,400.

In December, SoCal Gas spokeswoman Melissa Bailey told reporters the company believes that, due to the “unique” nature of the leak, the rupture would take another three or four months to fix. The company will have overshot its projection if the well is capped by next week.

Global warming alarmists howled about the leak’s effect on the environment.

“This is a terrible man-made disaster. It is causing massive problems with so much methane being released, and it is going to continue at least until March,” Richard Mathews, a computer engineer vying for California state Senate from Porter Ranch, told reporters in December. “This is going to contribute to a lot of (global) warming. It really is having a terrible effect.”

Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, suggested in an oped piece in The Wall Street Journal Thursday that the disaster shows the need for strict rules limiting methane pollution.

“In light of the [Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas)] Aliso Canyon disaster, the case for strong national rules to limit methane pollution from both current and future oil/gas sites has never been clearer,” Krupp wrote.

According to the California Air Resources Board, the ruptured well, located in Aliso Canyon, has poured more than 800,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air since its rupture.

Brown’s critics suggested earlier this year that the governor’s initial actions to combat the leak were thwarted by the governor’s sister, Kathleen L. Brown. Brown’s sister is a member of the board of directors at Sempra Energy, a subsidiary of SoCal Gas.

The governor’s sister was paid $183,000 last year as the director of Sempra Energy, according to a report earlier this year in the Boston Environmental Policy Examiner.

Along with her lofty salary, the governor’s sister also managed to scare up $400,000 in stock in the beleaguered energy company, according to financial statements.

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