The Porter Ranch Methane Leak Was the Worst in US History
At its peak in December of 2015 the amount of methane spewing from a leaking gas storage plant near Porter Ranch California was enough to fill a football stadium every day. Continuing for 112 days, the leak poured 100,000 tons of methane—a greenhouse gas 100X more harmful than carbon dioxide—into the air. At first the company responsible, SoCal Gas, denied the leak, leaving residents to steep in toxic chemicals showering down on their neighborhoods. Pets died. Elderly people died. Yet the fight to make SoCal Gas admit the danger and take care of harmed residents had just begun.
Local residents reported headaches, nausea, skin rashes, and severe nosebleeds, dozens of children poured in to school nurses with severe nosebleeds. 22,000 people were temporarily relocated by SoCal Gas, 2 schools were relocated. Long term health effects still plague many, while SoCal Gas' CEO got a hefty bonus in the year of the leak and the storage facility has re-opened and will see even more storage of fracked gas (methane) as we launch into the fracked gas future.
Porter Ranch got help when they faced a gas leak. 8 Mile Alabama was not so "lucky".
In 2011 residents of 8 Mile Alabama noticed a rotten smell in the air. At first they were ignored, unlike the richer mostly white residents of Porter Ranch. As time went on the putrid smell of sulfur was undeniable. A local Mobile Gas plant that adds mercaptan, the odorant used to cause natural gas to smell like rotten eggs so leaks can be detected, finally admitted their facilities had been hit by a lightening strike in 2008 and had leaked what they said was a negligible amount of the toxic chemical. As more and more people complained of health impacts like nosebleeds, nausea and dizziness, that excuse just failed to hold water.
In a later deposition a company worker admitted 6,000 pounds of mercaptan had leaked from a storage container. Even with this admission, local residents never got help.
Yes America fracking can and does pollute drinking water
It all started with a water well exploding. Yes, a WATER WELL. Yet when the company responsible, Cabot Oil and Gas (now Coterra) not only refused to publicly admit their nearby gas extraction activities caused such a strange event.
As the gas industry ramped up use of their new hydraulic fracturing (fracking) technology they needed people to believe that fracking can never pollute drinking water, a lie Cabot/Coterra clings to to this day. This as hundreds of cases have come to light over the years,
Nearly a decade ago Pennsylvania regulator DEP demanded Cabot restore more than 20 water wells they polluted. To this day many in the small town of Dimock still do not have clean water.