Methane is leaking all over the place

PORTER RANCH, CA - JANUARY 16: A woman holds a sign while attending a public hearing before the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) regarding a proposed stipulated abatement order to stop a nearby massive natural gas leak, on January 16, 2016 in Granada Hills, near Porter Ranch, California. More than 80,000 metric tons of methane gas have spewed from the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility since October 23, causing thousands of Porter Ranch residents to leave their homes, and the closures of two schools where students are being bussed to campuses farther away from the gas. State officials are now concerned that a seventh attempt to plug the well may have increased the chance of a blowout, which would greatly increase the release of gas as well as the risk of a massive well fire if ignited by a spark. The Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) hopes to repair the leak by sometime in March. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

This excellent article starts with the massive Aliso Canyon methane leak in southern California and goes on to note that:

-About 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions came from methane in 2012, and 30 percent of those emissions came not from fuel use, but from the extraction and distribution of oil and natural gas.

-Methane can leak almost anywhere in the natural gas supply chain. Studies show that it is leaking at almost every point in the supply chain — at drilling sites, along pipelines, at compression stations, at storage facilities like Aliso Canyon and along the networks of piping that deliver natural gas to homes. About the only thing unusual about the Aliso Canyon leak is its size.


The article quotes BU researcher Nathan Phillips extensively, and this article has much more detail about the Aliso Canyon methane storage field leak and its health effects. Check them both out!

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