For Immediate Release—Nov. 19, 2019
Contact: Alexandra Nagy, (818) 633-0865, [email protected]
Sacramento—Gov. Newsom yesterday afternoon ordered PUC President Marybel Batjer to order an independent feasibility study “to expedite planning for the permanent closure of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility,” the site of a 2015 massive gas blowout. However, several studies, including one by L.A .County, have already concluded that Aliso Canyon is not needed to keep the lights on and stoves lit in Los Angeles. This new order is issued on top of an ongoing study at the PUC that examines the feasibility of minimizing or eliminating Aliso Canyon, but relies on modeling by storage facility operator SoCalGas, which community members and independent critics consider unreliable.
In response to Gov. Newsom’s directive, Food & Water Action California State Director Alexandra Nagy issued this statement:
“The Aliso Canyon gas blowout was the largest in US history, forced the evacuation of 25,000 people, and poisoned the community. As recent fires demonstrated, the facility is an ongoing public health and safety threat. Governor Newsom’s directive to “expedite planning for the permanent closure” of Aliso Canyon is welcome and significant, but his conclusion that we need another study before setting a date certain for closing the facility is baffling. Governor Newsom campaigned on closing down Aliso Canyon and has repeatedly said he would do it. The issue has already been studied extensively and we are concerned that another study without a timeline for closure kicks the can down the road and continues to leave the community at risk. We urge Governor Newsom to show leadership and clarify that he expects the facility to be permanently closed within a year and that the PUC should immediately begin planning for this outcome. ”
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.