Monday, July 31, SoCalGas completed the steps required by the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) and can resume injections at Aliso Canyon for the first time since December 2015. It’s no surprise that Governor Jerry Brown’s administration has allowed for this dangerous facility to come back online without completing the root cause analysis, seismic risk study and appropriate risk management plan and despite the lofty goals pursued by the CA legislature of going 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.
Every local elected official and legislator including L.A. County Supervisors, Fire Department and Health Department, L.A. City Council, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, Senator Henry Stern, Assembly member Dante Acosta, Senator Dianne Feinstein and LAUSD Board Member Scott Schmerelson have urged Governor Brown to keep Aliso Canyon closed until the proper safety tests can be completed. Many have even questioned the State’s blind support of SoCalGas’ claims that the facility is necessary for energy reliability. A report released by L.A. County in February acknowledged that gas injections are not necessary if the State followed the prescribed mitigation measures that worked so well last summer. The County’s report also acknowledged that the January 24th and 25th withdrawals from Aliso were unnecessary and warranted investigation. However, Governor Brown’s administration has repeatedly ignored the call for further safety review and has refused to hold SoCalGas accountable to the manufactured gas shortage in January. Just last weekend, Mayor Garcetti admitted that LADWP doesn’t rely on Aliso Canyon and had already made bold changes to operate without it.
Residents of the north San Fernando Valley fear that gas injections at this time in Aliso Canyon will put them at greater risk of leaks, blowouts and health problems still felt by thousands since the 2015 blowout. Residents will continue to fight for the permanent shut down of Aliso Canyon, and urge Governor Brown to change his position and keep it closed.
Governor Brown has shown his dark side by allowing Aliso Canyon to reopen without the completed safety reviews. The only way you can explain this is by explaining Brown’s familial ties to Sempra and SoCalGas. Governor Brown’s sister sits on Sempra’s board and stands to make profit from the reopening of Aliso Canyon. It’s disgusting that this so-called green Governor is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and his conflict of interest is the culprit here for decisions that favor SoCalGas and Sempra’s profits over the health and safety of Californians. If Governor Brown were really a climate leader, he would close Aliso Canyon immediately as we don’t need it to keep the lights on and it only serves to make people sick. Instead, we are stuck with a false promise of a climate leader that’s willing to sell out families for his sister’s profits.
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.