Shut Down Leaking Gas Facility

SoCal Gas Leak

Target: California Governor Jerry Brown

Goal: Shut down the Southern California Gas Company responsible for a massive ongoing natural gas leak.

A well at the Southern California Gas Company has been leaking methane since for over three months at a rate of 2.5 million pounds per day. Though the company is finally taking steps to close the well, this process could take over a month, during which time the methane will continue to escape into the environment at alarming rates.

The leak is releasing more methane than all industrial activity in the state of California combined, and has caused Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency. Many have stated that this environmental tragedy is the worst since the BP oil spill. Heads of the California Energy Commission have expressed concerns that, if not completely shut down, the SoCalGas facility may deplete natural gas levels to the point that power providers will struggle to reliably meet energy demands.

Methane is an extremely dangerous greenhouse gas with high potential to contribute to global warming, and is hazardous to the health of people and animals. Benzene, a carcinogen, is also among the substances being leaked, along with added odorants that can cause headaches, nosebleeds and nausea.

Additionally, as-yet-unidentified trace gases that could cause long-term health issues may also be in the leak. The SoCalGas company has been remiss in alerting the public to the presence of these substances in the environment, having continually maintained that the substance levels were “safe.”

The company’s efforts to stop the leak have come too late, and many of their attempts to solve the problem have failed, created more negative effects, or even increased the risk of a blowout. SoCalGas has been extremely negligent, both in engaging in risky practices that allowed the leak to occur, and in their failed, untimely steps to mitigate the disaster. Sign our petition to hold this company accountable for its negligence and demand a complete shutdown of the entire facility.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Brown,

The natural gas leak at the Southern California Gas Company has driven thousands of citizens from their homes, caused the closure of two schools, and directly impacted the health and safety of citizens of Porter Ranch. Methane, in addition to being harmful to humans and animals, has high potential to contribute to global warming and is considered one of the most dangerous greenhouse gases. Closing the well will take the company more than a month, during which time methane will continue being released into the environment at the rate of 2.5 million pounds per day.

The full scope of the leak’s impact on community health and the environment remains to be seen. Many are referring to the leak as the biggest environmental tragedy since the BP oil spill. The enormity of the impact from this disaster, as well as the company’s negligence in mitigating the damage from it, is unacceptable. We, the undersigned, assert that holding Southern California Gas Company accountable for this disaster means shutting down their entire facility, not just a closing a single leaking well.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Scott L

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