After viewing the Bhopal documentary on Thursday, I was in shock by how the town was affected by Union Carbide’s gas leak to this day. Also, how Union Carbide continued to ignore Bhopal after and did not take anymore responsibility after they paid the government an insignificant amount of money. The documentary on Bhopal opened my eyes because it was such a devastating disaster and I have never heard about it until class. I wanted to learn more about companies that are severely polluting our earth today and affecting the lives of the people surrounding their plant.
The SoCal gas storage facility in Aliso Canyon, California has had an ongoing natural gas leak since October 23, 2015. The gas leak has poured so much methane gas into the atmosphere that it now comprises 2% of the entire country’s annual methane emissions, according to figures from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). This figure is expected to rise, given that the leak is, supposedly, not likely to be stopped until later this month. The gas leak has forced more than 2,000 people to leave Porter Ranch, California, which is 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, due to public health concerns because many people have been reporting, “symptoms consistent with exposure to additives found in natural gas.” At the leak’s peak, it was emitting around 72 million standard cubic feet of methane a day, which is the same amount of global warming pollution as driving 9 million cars a day. Today, the leak has declined to around 38 million standard cubic feet of methane per day, which is equal to driving 4.5 million cars per day.
Contrary to the Bhopal disaster, SoCal Gas is taking responsibility for their actions and doing what they can to stop it. Also, the state of California is drawing up legislation in order for a disaster like this to never happen again.