Methane

As California Methane Leak Displaces Thousands, Will U.S. Regulate Natural Gas Sites Nationwide?

2016-01-14T00:50:14-08:00

"Democracy Now!" airs weekdays at 9 a.m. PT on KCET.

Today is day 84 of a runaway natural gas leak above Los Angeles that has emitted more than 150 million pounds of methane, described as the nation's biggest environmental disaster since the BP oil spill. Nearly 3,000 families in the community of Porter Ranch have been relocated into temporary housing. California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in the area last week.

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that accelerates climate change 86 times more than carbon dioxide. At its peak, the leak has spewed the equivalent pollution of 4.5 million cars each day. On top of the impact to surrounding communities, the Porter Ranch leak has raised concerns about similar incidents across the state and around the country. There are 14 such natural gas storage facilities in California and more than 400 across the United States. Critics say they are plagued by ailing infrastructure and a lack of adequate regulation. "Democracy Now!" is joined by two guests: Tim O'Connor, director of the Environmental Defense Fund's Oil and Gas Program in California, and David Balen, president of Renaissance Homeowners Association, located just outside of the well site.

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