RUSH: All right, let’s just put this out there. If they’re going to shut down New York City every time something stinks, nobody’s ever going to get any work done there. Yeah, you go to library in New Jersey, and you don’t get any relief there. They allow the homeless to walk in, putrid and all. Greetings, my good friends and welcome. It’s the Rush Limbaugh program. This is the Excellence in Broadcasting Network and the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies. It’s a thrill and a delight to have you with us today. The telephone number is 800-282-2882, and the e-mail address is Rush@eibnet.com. Mayor Bloomberg today had one of the great lines of all time. They got this gas smell in New York. Nobody knows the source. Con Ed says it’s not a leak; others say it’s gotta be, and they don’t know where it’s coming from. It’s covering a hundred blocks. It’s even noticeable in New Jersey, and this is what Mayor Bloomberg had to say at a long-awaited press conference this morning about the gas smell.BLOOMBERG: Open the windows or turn on any fans, uh, until this gas passes. The smell is there! We don’t know the source of it. It does not appear to be dangerous. That’s all I know.
RUSH: Which isn’t much. “Wait until the gas passes.” This is one of the great executive leadership lines of all time. Just open the doors; open the windows and wait ’til the gas passes. But they can’t figure out what it even is or where it’s coming from. It smells like gas. It’s gotta be scary. It has to be. If it is a genuine gas leak, it wouldn’t take much to start a little combustion.
RUSH: Bill in Durango, Colorado, welcome, sir, to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Yes. Hello, Rush.
CALLER: I’ve been listening to you since 1990. Dittos.
RUSH: I appreciate that, sir. Thank you.
CALLER: Just wanted to talk about New York’s big stink for a quick second.
CALLER: Natural gas itself does not stink at all. They add a substance called mercaptans to it, and your nose can smell them down to one part in a billion or so, and I have been downstream — I’ve worked in the natural gas business — of a mercaptan injector leak five, six miles downstream it smelled like I was in a house full of gas. Quite frankly, it would be an easy way to really stink up the town: just take a cylinder of that stuff and leave the top cracked for a little while.
RUSH: How big a cylinder?
CALLER: Oh, about the size of a scuba tank.
RUSH: So a cylinder the size of a scuba tank could stink up a hundred blocks of Manhattan and across the river into New Jersey?
CALLER: You bet.
RUSH: Is it dangerous?
CALLER: No. In fact, that’s the same stuff they add to the gas that comes into your home so you can smell a leak. Natural gas, methane itself, has no smell.
RUSH: Wait a minute. Methane has no smell?
RUSH: So this can’t be cows?
CALLER: Not at all.
RUSH: Are you kidding me, methane has no smell? Cow expelations have no smell?
CALLER: Cow expelations also have their own varieties of mercaptans, in other words, sulfur compounds.
RUSH: Right, so visitors, like hunters, like Cheney, will know that they’re around when they smell gas?
CALLER: That’s right.
RUSH: Yeah. So they put something in the gas to make it stink just so you’ll know you had a gas leak?
CALLER: You’ve got it.
RUSH: And so you think a canister of that is what some mischievous prankster has released?
CALLER: That or somebody had a small problem with one and just went the other way and figured they’ll let it dissipate and deal with it later.
RUSH: Let me ask you this. Let’s say just hypothetically here, because I’ve been trying to get my arms around this all morning, if this were a legitimate gas leak — not the odor-producing element you just discussed, but if it were a legitimate gas leak — for this much to be noticed, it would present a huge risk, would it not?
CALLER: Yes, it would, and, quite frankly, every fireman in America and every utility company in America have gas detectors and the like. I still own an AIM myself, which is an instrument that can sense gas at very, very, very small amounts, and, quite frankly, literally every gas department and every fire department has one of these, but that particular instrument cannot smell those mercaptans.
RUSH: No, no, no. That’s not my question. Forget the mercaptans.
RUSH: Let’s say this is a real natural gas leak, a big one.
CALLER: You would be able to detect it quite easily.
RUSH: No I know that, but wouldn’t something have already caught fire, blown up by now?
CALLER: Without an ignition source near the flame, no. That’s not the way it works. It’s even like when big natural gas wells blow off. You got to light the flare wrong to get them to burn. They don’t burn on their own, generally.
RUSH: So you need something to serve as a pilot light?
CALLER: You got it.
RUSH: Just the gas itself will not combust even with like the automobile exhaust or lights?
CALLER: You need an open ignition source like an open spark or something of that sort.
RUSH: Well, but there are people lighting cigarettes all over the place outside buildings. Wouldn’t that do it?
CALLER: It still takes, for an explosion or even fire to occur, the mixture has to be correct.
RUSH: Oh, okay.
CALLER: Without the mixture being correct occasion but even with an incorrect mixture, they can tell if it’s natural gas.
RUSH: Okay. So in the words of Mayor Bloomberg, how long will it take “the gas to pass” here, if your first theory is correct, this is just the odor-producing element that some prankster has released?
CALLER: Seven or eight hours at the most.
RUSH: Seven or eight hours. Amazing. I appreciate that. That’s why we have flyover country. This is why we have Texas and Louisiana and Colorado because there are people there who know this stuff. We didn’t get these answers from the Brookings Institute. We didn’t get these answers from the Harvard School of Government. We got these answers from America.