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California Major Catastrophe: Major Media Problem

Commodities / Natural Gas Jan 17, 2016 - 06:00 PM GMT

By: Walter_Brasch

Commodities

On Oct. 23, Southern California Gas technicians discovered a leak of methane from a failed casing on one of the pipes in its Alisa Canyon storage facility, about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

The company estimates it will be the end of March until it can plug that leak from the pipe that is about 9,000 feet deep.


About 77,000 tons of methane, a greenhouse gas that can widen the ozone hole in the atmosphere, have already gone into the air.

Residents in the area have complained of nausea, dizziness, headaches and nosebleeds from the sulfur-like odor that is put into natural gas to identify it.

Residents of about 3,000 households have been relocated. Hundreds are now living in hotel rooms, and will be there for at least two more months.

The L.A. Unified School District closed two schools until March 2016.

The Federal Aviation Administration banned flights under 2,000 feet from going within a half-mile of the leak.

Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for the area.

It is the worst methane leak in U.S. history, amounting to about 15 percent of all hourly greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

A reminder: The leak began almost three months ago.

This past week, the major TV networks reported it.

Those of us who are in the anti-fracking movement have known about this leak almost from the day it first occurred. Many of us have written about it.

There is one critical question. Why have the mainstream national media not reported this catastrophe much earlier?

Here are two possible answers. First, the media have laid off thousands of reporters, especially those who cover the environment, in an attempt to raise corporate profits.

And, second, they are too busy channeling what Donald Trump says to devote much time to domestic issues, especially ones that directly affect Americans.

[Dr. Brasch is author of ‘Unacceptable’: The Federal Government’s Response to Hurricane Katrina, the first major book that looked at the causes, problems, and effects of the storm. He and Rosemary Brasch, two years before Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, had written a series of articles that predicted the United States was not prepared for a major disaster.]

[Dr. Brasch’s current book is Fracking Pennsylvania, which looks at the impact of fracking upon public health, worker safety, the environment, and agriculture. The book--available at local bookstores and amazon. com--also looks at the financial collusion between politicians and Big Energy.]

By Walter M Brasch PhD
http://www.walterbrasch.com

Copyright 2015 Walter M Brasch
Walter Brasch is a university journalism professor, syndicated columnist, and author of 17 books. His current books are America's Unpatriotic Acts , The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina , and Sex and the Single Beer Can: Probing the Media and American Culture . All are available through amazon.com, bn.com, or other bookstores. You may contact Dr. Brasch at walterbrasch@gmail.com

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