Safe, Proven . . .

First watch this feel-good 30-second ad from The People of America’s Oil and Natural Gas Industry (click on the video to start it):


What was it the pretty blonde in the black suit said in such soothing tones, as pleasant images caressed your eyeballs? ”  .  .  .  safe, proven hydraulic fracturing technology.” Yes, I’m pretty sure that’s what she said.

Now watch this infrared video (no audio supplied) from the Environmental Defense Fund:

This video was taken just last month. It is an aerial view of the Aliso Canyon oil field at Porter Ranch, CA. The black plume is one way infrared videography displays the methane leaking from the SoCal Gas Company well. It’s the same natural gas you cook with or use to heat your house and it’s as colorless as air, which is why the infrared technology is needed to see it leaking into the atmosphere.

The well has been spewing methane and other hydrocarbons for months – some say for two years – and somewhere between 1,700 and 2,600 local residents have now had to be evacuated because of headaches, nausea, nose bleeds, asthma and other medical traumas caused by the methane.

Spokesmen for SoCal Gas Company say that it will take months to stop the leak because the well is 8,000 feet deep and there is no valve they can turn off. They’re drilling another well designed to intersect the existing well shaft and they plan to pour concrete and other well plugging stuff into the 7″ pipe, assuming they hit it.

Infrared view of Porter Ranch, CA gas leak.

Infrared view of Porter Ranch, CA gas leak.

Meanwhile, the well is pouring 62 million cubic feet of methane per day into the air. That’s 110,000 pounds per hour, the global warming equivalent of 7,000,000 additional cars on the road day and night. To the right you can see what the leak looks like in another infrared video.

The natural gas industry maintains statistics on well leaks and they themselves tell us that 50% of natural gas wells leak. That’s significant, because methane is 84 times more powerful at global warming over a 20 year period than carbon dioxide.

And it’s The People of America’s Oil and Natural Gas Industry bring us all that that from their, ”  .  .  .  safe, proven hydraulic fracturing technology.”


Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

ACTION STEP: Please offer your comments below and pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe.  Thanks!  JA


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2 Responses to Safe, Proven . . .
  1. Allan Shuman Reply

    One teeny-tiny little point: Did you notice how the nice lady virtually swallowed the word “fracturing,” perhaps so that it might not register with the viewer/listener? As if she (or her director) knew that that was a buzz word and might not fly so well with the message’s audience? Hmmm……

  2. Jim Altschuler Reply

    The “1700 to 2600 residents that have been evacuated” are only a fraction of those who live in the Porter Ranch area. 13,000 lived there when this all started.

    Instead of pro-actively attacking the problem as soon as it was discovered, the gas company was busy covering their butts and telling Los Angeles that it was a “minor problem”. Now 3 months after the fact they have advised that they are going to install a temporary “fix” this coming week … by installing a small contraption to burn off “some” of the leaking gas. This temporary fix will only partially reduce the leak and there will still be the burnt gas exhausted to be dealt with.

    As to the “safe, proven hydraulic fracturing technology”, it is a complete misnomer! It has caused earthquakes in areas that have almost never had them before (Pennsylvania and Oklahoma most notably, but there have been and will be other states if this practice continues). Does the United States need so much natural gas that it has to allow the air to be polluted and the ground to be destroyed?!?

    I, for one, don’t think so.