Fracked gas has been spewing into a California neighborhood for months, sickening residents, prompting thousands to evacuate and becoming the biggest climate polluter in California. Tell President Obama and the EPA to quit dragging their feet on new rules and to crack down on methane leaks like this!
A fracked gas storage site in Aliso Canyon, California, has been leaking for months. It's already released more than 77,000 tons of fracked gas, making it the biggest climate polluter in California. It's also making people sick: Nearby residents have complained of headaches, nosebleeds and nausea plus the leaked gas is making smog and ozone pollution worse.1
Hundreds of families have been evacuated, thousands are suing the company. The Governor has declared a state of emergency,2 and California members of Congress are demanding action.3
But back in Washington, D.C., President Obama and the EPA already have a solution: The EPA is already finalizing rules to limit methane leaks, but the rules don't go far enough, and they don't yet apply to existing sites like Aliso Canyon. Click here to tell the EPA and President Obama to quit dragging their feet, and to toughen up the EPA's proposed rules to plug ALL the fracking leaks.
The Aliso Canyon site didn't have a blow-out preventer at the bottom of the well, which could have stopped the leak quickly -- it was removed to save money in 1979. Rex Parris, who is suing the gas company says, “They are saying it’s an accident ... I’m saying: No, it was inevitable.”1
Since there are no rules to limit fracked gas leaks, and because California state regulators don't require safety shutoffs underground, this entire disaster is perfectly legal. Which kind of proves why we needed the EPA to enact tougher new rules yesterday, or more specifically last October, before this catastrophe started! Of course the real solution is to leave fracked gas, and all fossil fuels in the ground. But in the meantime, we need to protect communities like the ones near Aliso Canyon from pollution and methane leaks.
This could be a perfect moment to do that. Next week, the President will give his final State of the Union address. He's expected to tout his climate achievements, including the Paris agreement to cut global warming pollution.4 He's often spoken of the need to take leaks at offshore oil rigs seriously because the BP Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico happened on his watch. Well, Mitchell Englander, the city councilman who represents the neighborhood in Los Angeles says, “This is the equivalent of the BP oil spill, except it’s on land, in a populated community.”2
If Obama wants to improve his image as a climate champion, he better get to work plugging this leak of fracked gas and ALL leaks of fracked gas. Sign here to remind him of this fact on the eve of one of the last big speeches of his career.
Drew and the leak-fixing crew at Environmental Action
1 - Suzanne Goldenberg, A single gas well leak is California's biggest contributor to climate change, The Guardian, January 5, 2016
2 - Ian Lovett, Governor Declares Emergency Over Los Angeles Gas Leak, The New York Times, January 6, 2016
3 - Gregory J. Wilcox, Work on Porter Ranch leaking gas well resumes after El Nino storms, Los Angeles Daily News, January 7, 2016
4 - Maya Rhodan, President Obama Releases Trailer Previewing His Last State of the Union, TIME, January 6, 2016