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Congressman Brad Sherman

Representing the 30th District of CALIFORNIA

Sherman Responds to SoCalGas Push to Resume Operations at Aliso Canyon in Porter Ranch


Nov 1, 2016
Press Release

SoCalGas Should First Commit Itself to Tough Specific Safety Measures

Congressman Brad Sherman issued the following statement after SoCalGas announced it completed testing or sealing all 114 wells and has requested authorization from the State of California to resume injections in the underground gas storage facility at Aliso Canyon.

“If California’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) allows SoCalGas to begin reinjecting gas into Aliso Canyon, it must require the strongest possible safety measures:

  • require that only tubing be used for all injections and removal of natural gas and prohibit injection or removal through the casing,
  • strict maximum injection pressure for each well and corresponding maximum capacity limits for the facility,
  • constant monitoring of the wells and air quality surrounding the facility,
  • both a deep sub-surface positive pressure safety valve and a surface safety valve on every well.

Until the toughest measures are in place and until the studies of the cause of the leak are finished, the Aliso Canyon facility should operate at the minimum usage necessary to ensure power reliability for the Los Angeles region.

Since the multiple investigations into the cause of the leak have not been completed, we must proceed with extreme caution.  Aliso Canyon is not ready to resume normal operations. Starting operations cautiously is the best way to balance safety with reliability.

I remain concerned that we have yet to address the too big to fail, too big to exist issue: no one gas storage facility should be so large that its closure would adversely affect the statewide economy or cause a significant portion of the state to be without heating, cooking, or electricity.

Never again should the residents of Porter Ranch or any other community be told that an impaired natural gas storage facility cannot be shut down without risking the reliability of utility service to millions of other residents. We should mandate that when any metropolitan area like Los Angeles is too reliant on one facility for all of its power, other facilities are developed.”

Sherman’s home was as close to any residence to the Aliso Canyon gas leak. For nearly four months, the northern Los Angeles community of Porter Ranch suffered from the largest methane leak in U.S. history.  More than 7,000 families were displaced from their homes and forced to relocate. Two schools in the area were closed for the duration of the school year.