Dangerous gas leak



Dangerous gas leak in California where for months a is downloading huge amounts of methane in the air.

The first leak was identified last October: a waste coming from a gas field, 2,400 meters deep, used for storage of methane from the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).

President was preparing for COP21 in Paris and the media didn’t give importance to this news. American authorities (California Air Resources Board) confirmed the low risk to people’s health. Only few weeks later, because of the impossibility of halting the loss and the spread of episodes of nausea, nosebleeds and headaches (caused by chemical components – such as benzene – usually used to make detectable gas that is naturally odorless), they had to raise the alarm. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency and asked more than four thousand families to leave their homes. Recently also the American Federal Aviation Agency has decided to suspend the air traffic in the area.

According to some experts opinion it could be the worst environmental disaster in USA after the BP oil platform leak in the Gulf of Mexico, in 2010. Some estimates the incident will cause an increase in greenhouse gas emissions by 25% compared to those normally caused in a year. “It is as if they had been burned 3.15 billion gallons of gasoline,” said Tim O’Connor, a lawyer of Environment Defense Fund. Environmental impact “is equivalent to the output of greenhouse gases produced in a day from 4.5 million cars.” Methane is a greenhouse gas with a heating power 86 times greater than that of carbon dioxide.

These gas leaks in the United States are often considered as “collateral damage” of fracking, the extraction system of oil and gas from shale in North America. These losses, according to recent analysis, would be greater than was thought up: the proof is that methane emissions have increased just in the areas where it is used fracking.

Every hour 30 thousand kilograms of methane escape and end up in the atmosphere. “We are not able to quantify the impact of the gas leak until it is completely stopped,” said a spokesman for the SoCalGas.

Now they can just say that it will take months to stop the leak that began in October. Just before the world conference on climate held in Paris. A disaster President Obama, during COP21, didn’t reported.

C.Alessandro Mauceri




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