California's Awful Gas Leak Is An Official State Emergency

Photo: Dean Musgrove/AP Photo.
California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency over the gas leak in Porter Ranch, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The leak is the result of a ruptured natural gas well at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage site. Southern California Gas Company, which runs the well, discovered the underground leak on October 23, but doesn’t yet know what caused it.

Local residents are worried about dangers to public health as well as dropping property values, complaining of rotten-egg smells, nosebleeds, headaches, nausea, and more. Many residents have been relocated.

In a statement, Brown said, “[A]ll agencies of state government shall utilize all necessary state personnel, equipment, and facilities to ensure a continuous and thorough response to this incident[.]”

The leak is now California’s biggest contributor to climate change. More than 77,000 metric tons of methane, a greenhouse gas 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, has already spouted into the California atmosphere since early October. The leak, which may not be contained for another month, is being compared to the 2010 BP oil spill, which devastated the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding areas.

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