Gov. Jerry Brown’s support of hydraulic fracturing — commonly referred to as fracking — and natural gas as a good “bridge fuel” toward lower carbon emissions is being put to the test by a massive methane leak from a storage tank operated by Southern California Gas Co.’s Aliso Canyon facility (“California Governor Declares Gas Leak a State of Emergency,” Jan. 6).
Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, can be up to 80 times more potent than CO2. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, the leak that started Oct. 23 and has released an estimated 80,000 tons of methane into the atmosphere and poisoned the Porter Ranch community of Los Angeles.
Sadly, as Bill McKibben wrote in Mother Jones magazine (“Bad News for Obama: Fracking May be Worse than Burning Coal,” Sept. 8, 2014), creating a new generation of natural gas infrastructure — pipelines, power plants, export terminals — is not a bridge to a clean energy future, but an obstacle.
I hope that Gov. Brown, who has shown tremendous leadership in creating pathways to a low carbon future in California, will reconsider his support of fracking California’s Monterey Shale. We need to move from the false promise of natural gas to the clean energy of renewables.
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Ted Hamilton, Atascadero