Congressman Sherman’s Statement for Tonight’s Public Meeting on Safety at Aliso Canyon
Washington, D.C. – Tonight, the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) will hold a public meeting regarding the well safety review at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility. Below is Congressman Brad Sherman’s statement prepared for delivery. Due to votes Sherman is in Washington, D.C., the statement will be delivered by staff:
“SoCalGas is responsible for the largest methane leak in U.S. history. Now they want to resume injections into the storage facility before the investigation into the cause of the leak is complete. This confirms my concern that the “too big to fail, too big to exist” issue at Aliso Canyon remains unresolved.
“No one natural gas storage facility should be so large that its closure can adversely affect the statewide economy or cause a significant portion of the state to be without heating, cooking, or electricity. And yet, the residents of Porter Ranch, many of whom remain engaged in a legal battle with SoCalGas over injuries suffered during last year’s blowout, are now being told that injections must resume at Aliso Canyon or else run the risk of blackouts throughout the Los Angeles region.
“California should mandate that when any metropolitan area like Los Angeles is too reliant on one facility for all of its power, other facilities should be developed. I am encouraged by the state’s efforts to build a more diversified grid and maximize the use of battery technology in order to alleviate dependence on Aliso Canyon. But these efforts have not eliminated the current need for alternative facilities.
“We must proceed with extreme caution. Until the strongest possible safety measures are in place and the case of the 2015 leak is fully understood, the Aliso Canyon facility should operate at the minimum usage necessary to ensure reliability for the Los Angeles region.
“We are informed that of the 114 wells, 79 have been temporarily sealed and 34 have passed a series of testing. You should not consider giving SoCalGas what they want now – unless you also act simultaneously to require the expeditious implementation of the toughest, reasonable mandatory safety standards, including deep sub-surface safety valves.
“Additionally, each well should have appropriate live gauges and monitors that report their findings electronically for utilities, state officials, and the public online.
"I look forward to working together to improve the safety at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility so that a disaster like this never happens again to my constituents in the San Fernando Valley or anywhere else.”