For Immediate Release—Oct. 23, 2019
Contact: Julie Light, 510-992-4083, [email protected]
Porter Ranch, CA—On the fourth anniversary of the methane blowout at SoCalGas’s Aliso Canyon storage facility, community members called on Gov. Newsom to issue an executive order to shut the facility once and for all.
The 2015 blowout spewed 100,000 metric tons of climate-polluting methane into the atmosphere along with other toxic substances. 25,000 people were forced to leave their homes while SoCalGas took four months to plug the leak. Many still suffer from chronic health problems stemming from the blowout and ongoing leaks.
Last week, flames from the Saddleridge fire entered the facility, underscoring just how dangerous the gas field is, located near homes, schools and businesses. Gov. Newsom has promised to close the facility, but has not yet taken action.
“Aliso Canyon is an ongoing health crisis and a climate emergency waiting to explode again,” said Alexandra Nagy, California Director at Food & Water Action. “Just last week, flames entered the facility, leaving a mysterious fire burning in their wake. What more can it possibly take for Governor Newsom to keep his promise and shut down Aliso Canyon? If Governor Newsom doesn't act now, the next disaster will be on his watch.”
Neighbors rallied outside the facility, as they have every year for the last four years, to mark the anniversary of the blowout that changed their lives.
“The burned-out hills in the gas facility is a perfect backdrop for today’s action, and another warning of the need to permanently shut down the facility,” said Save Porter Ranch President Matt Pakucko. “Add to that: two other fires there since the blowout, the damning revelations from the blowout’s Root Cause Analysis, and the July 2019, 6.4 and 7.1 earthquakes. How many more warnings until the ‘catastrophic loss of life’ that SoCalGas has already cautioned us about happens at this facility?”
Neighbors were joined by Sen. Henry Stern who represents the area and supports closing the facility.
“It’s been four years since Aliso Canyon blew and our community still does not have closure they deserve,” Sen. Stern said. “Meanwhile, ratepayers bear the brunt of billions for gas supply shortages in our winters and summers. I appreciate the Governor’s partnership in moving California towards 100% renewable energy, and overhauling DOGGR into the new CalGEM to put public health and the environment first. Now, we need his help to ensure the CPUC doesn’t use rigged numbers in their analysis of a Los Angeles without Aliso, and to fulfill his promise to close the facility once and for all.”
Pakucko was more direct. “Gov. Gavin Newsom: Shut this gas facility down now!”
Food & Water Action is the political advocacy arm of the research and education organization Food & Water Watch. We mobilize people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water and climate problems of our time.