The Southern California Gas Co. is fighting potential state rules that would require it to report how much methane it lost in the catastrophic leak that spewed greenhouse gases into the air above Porter Ranch.
In a filing with the state Public Utilities Commission last week, an attorney representing the Gas Co. and other utilities argued regulators were stepping outside their bounds in considering the rules and that utilities don’t know how to measure the amount of methane escaping from major leaks.
The state Air Resources Board estimated the broken well at the Gas Co.’s Aliso Canyon storage facility leaked 94,000 metric tons of methane, the same climate impact as roughly 1.7 million passenger cars on the road for a year.
Nonetheless, an attorney representing SoCalGas and other utilities wrote in the filing: “In the event of catastrophic pipeline failures, the joint utilities are not aware of any established methodology that could be used to determine the release of methane,” referring to the volume of gas emitted.
The filing comes after SoCalGas had been paying for a pilot to fly over the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility to measure methane released from the once-leaking well. And the company’s chief executive, Dennis Arriola, has repeatedly said the company would, in fact, determine how much gas leaked from the well and would somehow make the environment whole.
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