Congressman Sherman pushes CPUC to reject plans to expand storage at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility/Urges permanent closure of site
Sherman Oaks, CA – Congressman Brad Sherman wrote the members of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) urging them to reconsider plans to increase natural gas storage at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility, site of the largest methane gas leak in US history.
For four months beginning in late 2015, thousands of tons of methane and a mixture of chemicals poured uncontrollably from a broken well at the Aliso Canyon facility into San Fernando Valley neighborhoods, forcing the displacement of more than 8,000 families; the closure of two local schools for the duration of the school year; and causing countless residents continued health effects more than six years later.
In response, then-Governor Brown issued a directive to the CPUC for the phase-out of Aliso Canyon by 2027, a decision endorsed by Governor Newsom in 2019.
This week, six years after the blow-out, the CPUC is set to decide between two proposals for meeting the state’s energy needs, both of which increase the working gas storage capacity at Aliso Canyon.
“It seems a poor indication of the progress towards the closure of Aliso Canyon, that the Commission is this week entertaining proposals for expanding its use,” Sherman said.
“Rather than increase pressure within the same facility that six years ago became the site of the nation’s largest methane blowout, I urge you to act swiftly and to take additional measures to permanently close Aliso Canyon.”
“You should deny the application to increase pressure and storage at the Aliso Canyon facility. Instead, you should order Southern California Gas to submit expeditiously a plan to shut-down the facility while maintaining reliable service to consumers and businesses.”
Read the letter here.
Background: Sherman’s home was as close as any residence to the Aliso Canyon gas leak.