Talking Points for CPUC Meeting to #StopSoCalGas!

November 4, 2021 at 10AM

 

The CPUC is proposing to increase the amount of gas stored at the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility from 34 billion cubic feet (Bcf) to 41 Bcf or 68 Bcf. We need to tell the CPUC, no more storage increases! If you are unable to call in, please write in public comment by clicking the button below and then choose "Add Public Comment" at the top of the CPUC page:

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR PUBLIC COMMENT:

CALL the line at 9:50 am to get in the queue for public comment. 

You will have 1 minute for public comment.

  • English Phone: 1-800-857-1917, passcode: 9899501#

    • To make a public comment during the public comment period, press *1 (star one) when you wish to speak to be placed in a queue by the operator.

    • Once you press *1 you will be prompted to state your name and/or organization, and will not hear from the operator until it is your turn to speak. Wait times may be lengthy depending on the number of speakers.

    • Participants will be placed on mute in “listen-only” mode until the public comment portion of the meeting.

  • Spanish Phone: 1-800-857-1917, passcode: 3799627#

MAIN DEMANDS 

  • The CPUC needs to reject SoCalGas and the Oil Shipper’s application to increase storage limits on Aliso Canyon and instead focus on shutting down Aliso Canyon like Governor Newsom directed. THIS IS ABOUT PUBLIC HEALTH, NOT SOCALGAS WEALTH!

    • The CPUC needs to prioritize shutting down dangerous gas infrastructure like Aliso Canyon as directed by Gov. Newsom, not expand it. CPUC’s willingness to expand fossil fuels is a slap in the face to all Californians suffering daily now from the massive threat that is climate chaos including drought, wildfires, and heat waves. 

 

SAMPLE PUBLIC COMMENT

 

My name is ___ and I live ____. (I, my family, my community) still suffers daily from the physical and mental health effects of the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon gas blowout. Any increase in storage limits at this dangerous facility will expose the CPUC’s failure to shut this facility down. I urge the CPUC to reject the request by Oil Companies and SoCalGas to increase storage limits at Aliso Canyon. It’s time California prioritizes public health and safety over fossil fuel profits. LA County, Los Angeles, LAUSD and many others are on record in support of an expedited shut down of Aliso Canyon - expanding gas storage limits at this time is wrong and sends a horrible message that community health is less important than SoCalGas wealth. 

 

TIPS

  • Give your name and location you are calling from. 

  • Share a personal story - maybe about your health, climate, hope for the future...

 

MORE TALKING POINTS

MORE EXPANSIONS = SOCALGAS + OIL COMPANY PROFITS = MORE HEALTH PROBLEMS!

  • SoCalGas has a financial incentive to increase the storage limits at Aliso Canyon. SCG makes profits on the exchanges to store gas there. 

  • Oil Companies that are petitioning the CPUC to increase storage limits at Aliso Canyon stand to benefit financially if storage limits are increased. The CPUC should not prioritize the profits of Oil Companies that are wrecking our planet at the expense of community health and climate. 

    • These Oil Companies include: California Resources Corporation, Chevron U.S.A. Inc., PBF Holding Company, Phillips 66 Company, and Tesoro Refining & Marketing Company LLC.

  • In November 2020, the CPUC rejected SoCalGas’ application for increased storage limits at Aliso Canyon and nothing has changed to warrant that SoCalGas get its way this time.

  • Last week the LA County Board of Supervisors voted to send a letter to the CPUC to stop storage increases at Aliso Canyon. This week, the LA City Council also introduced a resolution to oppose storage increases. The CPUC needs to listen to local leadership and stop this unnecessary increase and instead focus on the shared goal to shut down Aliso Canyon now. 

  • The CPUC needs to do more to prioritize investments in clean energy solutions in the LA Basin, not let SoCalGas expand. Anything less is a failure by the CPUC to act aggressively to alleviate any need for Aliso Canyon.

  • Last time the CPUC allowed storage increases at Aliso Canyon, the nearby community reported an increase in four odors and serious health symptoms. 

 

WHY THE FACILITY IS NO LONGER NEEDED

 

  • RELIABILITY: True reliability is not relying on an aged and dangerous gas system that is vulnerable to severe loss of containment incidents from earthquakes, wildfires and landslides.

 

  • RESILIENCY: In order to have a truly resilient energy grid, we need to move towards distributing and reducing our energy use through initiatives like neighborhood solar and energy efficiency. As we face more and more crises, relying on old, centralized sources of power just leaves us more vulnerable when something goes wrong. Rather than waiting for a crisis, we need to start transforming our energy grid now.

 

  • NEED: Studies have shown that Los Angeles does not need the Aliso Canyon storage facility, including one commissioned by the LA County Board of Supervisors. After the gas blowout, the state adopted 31 mitigation measures to readjust the gas system and electric grid to operate smoothly without Aliso Canyon for nearly two years. It worked!

    • Key mitigation measures included: 

      • Updating the gas balancing rules. SoCalGas and noncore customers were required to balance gas supply within 5% of demand to ensure adequate supplies for gas were ordered on the pipelines. This was noted by the Joint Agency Task Force charged with implementing the 31 mitigation measure to be the most effective measure. This balancing rule was relaxed over time to support keeping Aliso Canyon in greater use. 

      • Previously – monthly balancing requirement – order gas on monthly basis

        • 5% daily gas balancing requirement was put into effect June 1, 2016 – order gas on daily basis – industry experts, including Shell Energy, say this will eliminate any risk of curtailments or blackouts 

        • Daily balancing requirements in place for Nevada and Arizona – gas dependent states with no gas storage

      • Aliso Canyon opened the floodgates for new battery storage technologies – San Diego Gas & Electric (37.5MW) and SCE (80MW)

      • Gas electric generation declined by 20% across CAISO territory in summer 2016 alone

      • 2016, LADWP added 320MW of solar power in Owens Valley over summer, another 500MW coming online soon

      • Trending towards less reliance on gas as state mandated targets aim for 50% RPS by 2030

      • Los Angeles committed to 100% renewable energy by 2035, eliminating gas from electric generation. 


 

  • PRECEDENT: We already know that we do not need the facility to maintain reliability. For two years after the gas blowout, Aliso Canyon was under strict regulations and withdrawals were not permitted unless in the case of an emergency. The SoCal region faced zero blackouts or gas supply shortages as a result of Aliso Canyon being offline.

 

  • Aliso Canyon is not needed to meet energy demand, yet SoCalGas ramps up use despite Gov. Newsom’s commitment to shut Aliso down. 

    • Unfortunately, these mitigation measures and regulations were weakened over time, giving SoCalGas more authority in determining the use of Aliso Canyon. 

      • The CPUC allowed SoCalGas to resume gas injections at Aliso Canyon, filling Aliso Canyon back up to 34 billion cubic feet (out of 86 bcf total capacity).

      • Under Governor Newsom, the CPUC weakened the withdrawal protocol removing the emergency only measure giving SoCalGas flexibility to withdraw gas from Aliso Canyon as the company deemed necessary. As a result, Aliso Canyon gas withdrawals increased by 3000% under Newsom compared the first two years after the gas blowout when Aliso Canyon was kept as an asset of last resort. 


 

ALISO CANYON HEALTH ISSUES

  • During normal operations, the facility is the third most polluting gas storage field in the country (per the U.S. EPA) 

    • 206,268 combined tons of natural gas, carbon dioxide and other pollutants in 2014, according to EPA data

  • The South Coast Air Quality Management District reports that Aliso Canyon routinely emits carcinogens and chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, ethyl-benzene and xylene (BTEX), acetaldehyde, uranium, acrolein, ammonia, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides

  • Dr. Jeffery Nordella, from the nearby Porter Ranch community, found uranium, ethylbenzene, acrolein, styrene and heavy metals in residents’ hair, urine and blood, in significant concentrations.

  • Since the gas blowout ended in February 2016, there have been over 15 reported leaks and spills at the facility by SoCalGas to state regulators.

  • “There are two leaks per day, on average at the Aliso Canyon storage facility” (per SoCalGas sworn testimony Aug 2016).

  • Countless ongoing complaints of health problems reported, identical to those during the peak of the blowout.

  • According to the LA County Department of Public Health, 63% of residents surveyed reported health symptoms after the blowout was capped. (Aliso Canyon Gas Leak CASPER 5/16/16)

 

SHUT.IT.ALL.DOWN.

Communities are united to demand our energy be taken out of unaccountable corporate hands.

  • We join Reclaim Our Power in demanding PG&E be held accountable for the Dixie Fire. (Read ROC’s “Failing Since Bankruptcy” Scorecard detailing PG&E’s failures from April here! http://tinyurl.com/PGEFailingSinceBankruptcy)

 

Communities are uniting to #StopSoCalGas

  • Communities across Los Angeles and Ventura Counties are uniting to protect their communities from harmful SoCalGas operations. Right now, communities are actively fighting to shut down the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility, shut down the Playa del Rey gas storage facility and stop the expansion of the Ventura Compressor Station. 

    • Local municipalities and elected officials agree:

      • Stop SoCalGas Compressor Expansion in Ventura: Ventura City Council, Ventura Supervisor Carmen Ramirez

    • Shut down Playa del Rey: LA City, LA County, Santa Monica, Culver City, Sen. Ben Allen

    • Shut down Aliso Canyon: LA City, LA County, LAUSD, Sen. Feinstein, Sen. Henry Stern

 

  • We stand with each other and with our allies who are fighting similar battles for justice. We act with tolerance for each of us in the struggle, and hold ourselves accountable as allies. We refuse to accept false solutions that pit one fight against another, knowing that real solutions are those that uplift all our communities together.

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