Dec 30, 2015

LA’s Gas Leak Is a Global Disaster

Posted by in categories: climatology, energy

One of the worst environmental disasters of the decade is currently underway in a quiet community 25 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Putrid, methane-rich natural gas has been spewing into the air at an estimated rate of nearly 1,300 metric tons per day for over two months. Experts are calling it the climate version of the BP oil spill, and the leak isn’t going to be contained anytime soon.

Natural gas is often touted as a cleaner energy source than oil or coal, because of the lower greenhouse gas emissions associated with burning it. But as this disaster highlights, there are insidious risk to natural gas production. Coupled with weak regulation, they can make this energy source as dirty as the fossil fuels it’s meant to replace.

“The science is crystal clear: if you allow the methane to leak, you can wipe out its climate benefits,” Tim O’Connor, director of the Environmental Defense Fund’s Oil and Gas Program in California told Gizmodo.

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