Doctors Urge California Residents “Leave Now…While You Can” As Gas Leak Fears Grow

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This report was originally published by Claire Bernish at The Anti Media.


California Governor Jerry Brown finally declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, concerning the ongoing, currently unstoppable methane gas leak spewing from Aliso Canyon that has created a nightmare for residents of Porter Ranch.

“I will tell you, this goes well beyond Porter Ranch. We’ve had complaints from as far as Chatsworth, Northridge, and Granada Hills,” emphasized Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander during a Porter Ranch town hall meeting on December 28. “Apparently this plume of toxic chemicals and whatever it might be, doesn’t know zip codes […] This is the equivalent of the BP oil spill on land, in a populated community.

Aliso Canyon sits less than two and a half miles from Porter Ranch and less than 30 miles from the city of Los Angeles — the second most populous city in the United States — whose outlying total statistical area includes nearly 18 million residents, as of 2013.

Brown has been widely criticized for lack of decisive action on the leak, which is erupting from its underground storage area with all the force “of a volcano.” Under Wednesday’s declaration, “all state agencies will utilize state personnel, equipment, and facilities to ensure a continuous and thorough state response to this incident.”

Porter Ranch residents have been evacuating the area for some time, though SoCalGas’ rather maladroit handling of the relocation procedure has been a nightmare — and the cause for a mounting number of lawsuits, including one from the L.A. city attorney’s office.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer filed a civil lawsuit last month concerning the massive methane leak’s impact on area residents’ health and damage to the environment — which alleged failure by SoCalGas to prevent the leak and further exacerbation of “the effects of that failure by allowing acute odor and health problems faced by the community to persist for more than a month, to say nothing about the indefinite time it will persist into the future.”

Pediatrician Dr. Richard Kang gave an ominous warning during the Porter Ranch meeting, saying, “Unfortunately, the only real way to get away from the symptoms is… you have to relocate — you have to get away from the environment.” Health complaints include severe headaches, nosebleeds, respiratory issues including increasing cases of asthma, and a number of other issues.

SoCalGas, in the meantime, stated they were “providing air filters for people’s homes,” but though “the odor added to the leaking gas can cause symptoms for some, the gas is not toxic and county health officials have said the leak does not pose a long-term health risk.

But, as the Los Angeles Daily News reported on December 25, Los Angeles County health officials said prolonged exposure to trace chemicals, some of which are known carcinogens, can cause long-term health effects.” Nevertheless, they also “cautioned that levels examined so far here are not believed to be associated with long-term health problems.”

“The gas company says, ‘This is just the smell you’re reacting to, it’s just temporary, it’s not a problem, it’s not serious’ — these people aren’t stupid,” said attorney Rex Paris. “How could somebody possibly say that? We have children whose noses are bleeding every day, we have people who suffer from chronic headaches [and] are nauseous every, single day. How does that not become a serious issue? Why are they saying something nobody here believes? […] They’re trying to convince everybody that it’s all in our heads. It’s a trick.”

In fact, as Erin Brockovich pointed out, “no one really knows the long-term side effects of benzene and radon, the carcinogens that are commonly found in natural gas.”

Additionally, area house pets seem particularly vulnerable — possibly acting the part of unwitting canaries — as veterinarian Dr. David Smith described in the town hall meeting. Noting he has seen dozens of sickened animals, Smith said, “I’ve seen dogs, cats, birds, pocket pets… the primary symptoms I’ve seen are gastrointestinal vomiting […] These are not things you should be inhaling. He added, “We have seen dermatological issues as well, some very unusual bacterial infections in dogs,” including one case in which a dog had such an infection on its face, and “the client developed almost the exact same kind of symptoms soon after that […] their physician thinks it’s related [to exposure from the gas leak] and so I tend to think these correlations are real.”

Though the declaration of emergency states “the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources shall continue its prohibition against Southern California Gas Company injecting any gas into the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility,” it does not make that moratorium dependent on stoppage of the leak; rather, only “until a comprehensive review, utilizing independent experts […] is completed.”

Physician Dr. Brooks Michaels, addressing the town hall meeting, gave the sternest advice to those still in the area surrounding the unprecedented leak:

“If you have a chance to leave, if you’re able to leave… if you have a chance to relocate, do it now. I’m telling you, it’s really critical.”

Understandably, Brown’s state of emergency seems almost too little, too late for many.

You can watch the Porter Ranch town hall meeting here:

This article (Doctors Sound Alarm as State of Emergency Declared over CA Gas Leak: Leave Now) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email

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  • Stewpedaso

    Light a match…it wont linger anymore…evacuate first of course

    • How do you light a match from a safe distance? What have they tried to do to plug it? Setting it on fire would mitigate the effects of the flammable components, by reducing them to less noxious things.

      • rhondareichel

        drone bomb I guess

      • none

        The president is going golfing next weekend.
        He has volunteered to fly at low altetued over the site. Then at the correct moment. Kick the engines afterburners on to light it!

        What a great president he is, leading by example.

        • Unless he has demonstrated more experience in flying a fighter jet than in practicing constitutional law, I doubt if anyone would let him on the flight deck, let alone touch anything in the cockpit. Unfortunately, he has access to a large number of military members who will willingly violate their oaths and any other law that might prohibit them from doing grossly illegal things just because they lack the courage to say no to a war criminal in their command.

    • sunshine

      OK, this may be a really dumb question but let’s say that’s feasible. Wouldn’t it cause a huge explosion underground where the methane keeps coming from? Kind of like if you light a can of hairspray it can explode the can?

      • Carl-Cathy Wisnesky

        The gas needs oxygen to burn or explode. Think of your gas stove or propane torch or BBQ grille. The flames do not go down the pipes & into the tanks & explode it – the gas only burns when it is released & exposed to the oxygen in the air.
        Just like drillers burn off the methane coming out of the ground at an oil rig, or the pictures of Iraq’s oil wells on fire in the Gulf war, the gas only burns at the surface. The flames do not follow the hole down into the earth & explode the gas underground. In summary, gas only explodes when there is sufficient oxygen mixed in to allow the explosion to occur.

        • sunshine

          Thanks for the answer, that makes sense!

    • masterblaster

      The biggest fart burn in guinness book of records

    • rhondareichel

      same principle with burning off gas wells….meanwhile climate change fanatics conveniently ignore this pollution…including Obama & Al Gore

    • D’oro

      That… exactly what I was thinking – not even joking here.

      So, if the only problem here is a plume of natural methane, wouldn’t that methane (and any natural toxic volatile sulfur etc. compounds contained inside of it, similar to crude), just be combusted into relatively harmless combustion byproducts… CO2, CO, SO2, NO2, etc…. if set alight?

      So…. i don’t see where it need for alarm is.

      Some locals should just take it upon themselves to solve this:

      Go to Radio Shack, buy a $200 Quapcopter Drone and some simple components, wire a box of road flares and an ignition source to a simple radio switch, duct-tape that apparatus onto the drone, drive to within drone’s range of the geyser, fly the drone as close as possible to the base of the geyser, push the radio transmitter to light the flares, and then drive the drone into the geyser.

      Geyser erupts, and stays alight. Problem solved.

      This could be done in three days, with 2 families pitching in $200 apiece max.

      Am i missing something here?

  • Diane23

    Key verbiage in the audio accompanying the aerial footage video just might be “oil & gas companies should be “required” to monitor . . . Really???!! The Porter Ranch community needs Erin Brockovich on this.

  • ccambridge

    Why hasn’t Obama the climate slinger mentioned this catastrophe that will indeed affect every single person on the planet, way more than a coal plant or cars?

    • sunshine

      Because he can’t blame white people for it, or tax it, or use it to his political advantage. If he figures out a way, don’t worry, he’ll have a lot to say.

    • WVBORN56

      This is a real problem. Obama only tackles imaginary problems like global warming.

    • TheCountess

      Helps with the decrease of the surplus population.

  • euragone

    No don’t leave.. The rest of the country doesn’t need there Liberal BS!

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    • rhondareichel

      Yep….we don’t want them in Texas….they bring their liberal nonsense with them.

    • Reverend Draco

      Ur state cud yooz sum uv Cali’s librul skooling, tho.

      We don’t need any of your BS either.

  • NonYo Business

    What would president elect “Mr Garrison” say?

  • Mark Williams

    Were is Al Gore on this? Shouldn’t he be hammering Obama as a Climate Polluter?

    • TheCountess

      Exactly. Where in the world is good ol’ Al? You’d think he’d be center stage.

  • morecotwo

    This will mess up those Global Warmist models for sure.

  • jim_robert

    A hundred of these massive leaks won’t do as much as the ignorant left has done to the state

  • Mark

    You have to laugh at the government mentality (or lack of mentality). Their response? Send engineers and workers? No. Instead they “file a lawsuit.” What completely useless protoplasm they are.

  • Robert Raulerson

    CALI is a shit hole anyway lite the match

    • rhondareichel

      There are a few good people there….save them

  • TheCountess

    Can you say carcinogenic?

    • masterblaster

      Benzene and other items composing natural are cancer causing agents its well known. There are no more gas pumpers at filling stations because the benzine fumes were giving them all cancer. I lost a very good friend to this. Obama is a shit bird who could care less about any white people or area. He is more worried now about his impending impeachment proceedings that are moving in congress.

  • tomw

    Give it back to Mexico. Who needs a stinking state, that pulls in more welfare than all other states combined.

    • masterblaster

      Better yet
      give it to china and let them run the place we can just take a cut of the savings they will make when they have all the Libtards working for a bowl of rice a day

    • Reverend Draco

      California has the 5th largest economy in the world – Cali pays more for welfare than all other states combined.

  • Jim

    Better yet, find a way to make kalifornia completely airtight, and this methane leak will take care of about 50% of the liberal disease infecting America.

  • Dick Gozinya

    Caallmmm dowwwnnn everyone…Didn’t they just have a chili cook-off?..
    They could just be covering up hella extreme flatulation due to embarassment…

  • Mark Williams

    Gov. Moonbeam only cares about pollution when it is the evil Conservatives and Libertarians that can be blamed.

  • SP_88

    What a bunch of hypocrites. If this could be used to push global warming or climate change, Al Gore would be all over it.

  • masterblaster

    Dont worry they will do just what they did with Fukushima nothing just let everyone die and Shut down all the Radiation detectors in the USA. Nothing to see here move along

  • masterblaster

    Is this a drilled well or just a transfer pipe from underground storage of Natural gas. I thought those were only in Louisiana in salt domes

  • Ray Magarino

    Obama should go and walk near the leak so the people would realize that it’s not dangerous it’s just a smell!
    We can send a man to the moon but we can’t stop an oil leak and now a gas leak! God help us all!

  • jaguar

    They’re not making a big deal about it and evacuating people… Because they want them to die!!