Natural gas poses dangers to public health, especially in lower-income communities
While natural gas has been touted as a “clean” energy source it is, in fact, a fossil fuel and leaks are dangerous.
The Aliso Canyon gas leak (October 2016 to February 2016, pictured right) drew some attention to the fact that natural gas is indeed, a large source of carbon pollution, with other dangerous emissions as well. Governor Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency, and the leak’s carbon footprint was larger than the Deepwater Horizon leak in the Gulf of Mexico.
Local residents reported headaches, nausea, skin rashes, and about 50 children per day saw school nurses for severe nosebleeds. By December 25, 2015, more than 2,200 families from the Porter Ranch neighborhood had been temporarily relocated, and more than 2,500 households were still being processed. By mid-January of 2016, more than 11,000 people were temporarily relocated by SoCal Gas.
Phasing out fossil fuel-powered vehicles
Transportation represents 41% of California’s measured emissions. For a climate-safe California, we must address these emissions, and a key component will be phasing out fossil fuel-powered vehicles. More than 15 countries have already committed to phase-outs. Despite the misinformation being spread by special interest groups, the science is clear: Over the lifecycle of the car, electric vehicles are far more climate-friendly than gas-powered vehicles.
The Climate Center has produced a report outlining all of the nations that have made clean car commitments. Norway is a clear leader and has put in place many incentives to make choosing electric cars far more attractive– including reduced taxes, bridge tolls, parking fees, and ferry charges, and even access to bus lanes. As a result, half of the cars in Norway are now electric.
As a global climate leader, it’s time for California to join Norway, Mexico City, Paris and Madrid, which are all scheduled to begin their phase-outs in 2025. For a more complete list of strategies for addressing emissions from transportation, click here.