Today’s Top Story:
Southern California Gas Co. announced Thursday that it has temporarily controlled the flow of natural gas at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility, which has been leaking for nearly four months. Thousands of residents from the Porter Ranch community, an affluent neighborhood in the suburbs of Los Angeles, have been relocated since October due to the leak. SoCalGas said Thursday that those residents have already been notified about the day’s progress. (The Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, NPR)
California’s Massive Methane Leak Temporarily Stopped For First Time In Months
The Huffington Post
Southern California Gas Co. announced Thursday that it has temporarily controlled the flow of natural gas at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility, which has been leaking for nearly four months. Thousands of residents from the Porter Ranch community, an affluent neighborhood in the suburbs of Los Angeles, have been relocated since October due to the leak. SoCalGas said Thursday that those residents have already been notified about the day’s progress.
Road to recovery begins in Porter Ranch as gas leak is halted at last
Los Angeles Times
Nearly four months of environmental contamination and civic disruption in Porter Ranch came close to an end Thursday when work crews pierced the underground casing of the damaged Aliso Canyon gas well and started injecting it with a mud-like compound. The final step is for concrete to be pumped into the well, a process that could begin as soon as Friday, and for state regulatory officials to declare that the leak has ceased.
After Nearly 4 Months, Porter Ranch Gas Leak Is Temporarily Plugged
A natural gas leak that has poured methane gas into the air since October has been “temporarily controlled,” according to a utility company in Southern California. Thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes in an upscale section of the San Fernando Valley. The leak was first reported in late October and has since spewed more than 5 billion cubic feet of natural gas. Since then, the leak has forced more than 6,000 residents to evacuate the area northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
Benicia commission rejects crude oil trains
The Sacramento Bee
The Benicia city planning commission, voting unanimously, dealt a dramatic setback Thursday to an oil company’s plans to ship crude oil via train through Northern California, including downtown Sacramento, to its local refinery. After four successive nights of hearings, commissioners rejected Valero Refining Co.’s request to build a rail loading station so it could import oil on two 50-car trains daily, despite a city staff recommendation for approval.
Oil Industry in Kern County continues to reel from layoffs as prices drop
Kern Golden Empire
As oil production slows, a new trend is emerging that’s becoming all too familiar. 75 percent of oil production in California happens right here in Kern County. Men who have spent time working in the oil fields are now laid off, out of money and searching for housing.
The kids of Porter Ranch: How spewing methane rocked their sense of safety
Cooper Stutler’s teacher told his second-grade class to put their shirts over their noses as they crossed the playground to get snacks. She didn’t want them to “breathe the gas,” Cooper says. “It smelled like rotten eggs.” So he tried to inhale less air, hoping it wouldn’t get into his lungs.
Opinion & Press Release
Governor Jerry Brown Receives Cold, Dead Fish Award Four Years In A Row
The year 2015 will become infamous as the one when many California fish populations reached record low levels, largely due to poor water management by the state and federal governments. The Bureau of Reclamation and Department of Water Resources continued to drain Trinity, Shasta, Oroville and Folsom reservoirs to record low levels during a record drought to supply subsidized water to corporate agribusiness interests, Southern California water agencies and oil companies conducting fracking operations.
California Oil Lobby Spent a Record $22 Million in 2015
East Bay Express
The oil industry spent a record $22 million lobbying California legislators and officials last year, allowing it to largely determine which bills passed and which bills didn’t pass through the Legislature. This “gusher” of lobbying money in 2015 yielded alarming results: Every environmental bill opposed by Big Oil was either shelved, or in the case of SB 350, a climate change/green energy bill, was amended under pressure from the oil industry.
What oil means to people in Bakersfield — and everywhere else
Los Angeles Times
My father worked for Union Oil of California back in the 1950s and early ’60s. He earned well as a petroleum engineer and provided more than a comfortable living for our family. It is sad to read about an industry that had its day and really needs to close business. Humanity left the Stone Age not because we ran out of stones, but because we found better technologies. Bakersfield’s oil workers need to think beyond this current slump, look to a new energy future and vote for leaders at all government levels who can get us there.
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