The company behind LA’s methane leak knew of the leak 24 years ago. You may have read of the deep underground Los Angeles methane leak that has triggered a mass exodus from an upscale subdivision while baffling engineers trying to stem the leak.
The Porter Ranch subdivision is no Beverly Hills, but the hillside area of the North San Fernando Valley (Remember “Valley Girls?”) is not chopped liver either. Upper middle class.Not happy to be in many cases, fleeing their homes in response to headaches, nausea, dizziness or worse. Especially, given the receding “all clear” date provided by the utility whose well is leaking.
That well is far underground and proving tough for the company’s engineers to subdue. As the time lengthens, the damages mount up. We suppose that the Angelic City’s lawyers are drooling. The local gas company, not so much. And any of that company’s ratepayers, if they are paying attention, not at all.
All of which recalls to ind decades of warnings, including Congressional hearings, relating to the long ignored obsolescence of multiple underground utilities nationwide. In places like New York and Boston, we have read that some 17th century water pipes remained in place. Rotting gas lines are not unusual. And we have seen reports that losses from underground water pipes often range from 30% to 50% of production. Then, there are senescent bridges and decaying roads. The estimates range far into the billions and the remaining time spans before various disasters is shrinking. But none of those infrastructures votes while human beneficiaries of government largesse with other peoples’ money invariably do vote. So you can imagine where the political attention is fixed.
And none of that sort of thing shows up in the stupendous national debt, already too large to repay. Nor can we even complain; we voted for what we have made.