To the editor: How sad that it took a methane leak in an affluent community to highlight the failings of the underregulated and blatantly negligent gas industry. (“The real emergency at Porter Ranch? California’s dangerous dependence on fossil fuels,” editorial, Jan. 7)
By law, our cars must undergo regular smog inspections, but gas companies are not required to conduct frequent inspections on gas wells? Even more unbelievable, the Southern California Gas Co. did not bother to install safety valves in most wells and is aware that some wells are failing.
Wendy Blais, North Hills
To the editor: It’s welcome news that residents of Porter Ranch who have been experiencing scary reactions to additives in the leaking methane won’t have long-term health problems. Still, their short-term problems are nasty enough.
The unwelcome news is that methane is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in its effect on climate change, a long-term, major health disrupter. The magnitude of this leak is exacerbating an environmental disaster for all of us.
Preventing and controlling methane leaks require better regulations moving forward, which Gov. Jerry Brown’s emergency declaration lays out. Using our laws to challenge the drivers of climate change is also a potent agent.
Liza White, Los Angeles