How can gas company offset emissions from the Aliso Canyon leak? Regulators offer a plan

To offset greenhouse gas emissions from the massive Porter Ranch leak, Southern California Gas Co. could pay to plug abandoned wells, install methane-gobbling digesters at dairy farms and help people buy more efficient furnaces and water heaters, state regulators say.

Those are the kinds of projects the gas company will be required to fund to make up for the damage to the climate from releasing nearly 100,000 tons of methane from its Aliso Canyon storage facility, according to a plan by the California Air Resources Board.

The utility has pledged to offset the greenhouse gas emissions from the leak. The mitigation plan was ordered by Gov. Jerry Brown in an emergency proclamation in January, and the leaking well was declared permanently sealed Feb. 18.

The pollution-cutting projects would be paid for by the gas company over the next five to 10 years, according to the proposal.

For nearly four months the well spewed methane, foul-smelling compounds and other contaminants into the air of suburban Los Angeles, driving thousands of nearby residents from their homes. Scientists have declared it the largest methane leak in U.S. history.

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