Punish CEO Responsible for Worst Gas Leak in History

Target: California Department of Conservation Director David Bunn

Goal: Issue a punishment that will actually impact the CEO who endangered lives and the environment.

After the disastrous Porter Ranch gas leak, the CEO responsible will be fined only $130,000. That is nothing compared to the $3.17 million bonus Sempra Energy CEO Debra L. Reed will be receiving. Because of Reed’s negligence, hundreds of people’s lives were endangered. Reed should be severely punished, not given a bonus.

The leak was first discovered last year and it took four months for it to be stopped. During that four-month period, around 100,000 tons of methane gas were released. Hundreds of Porter Ranch residents were forced to evacuate their homes in order to escape the deadly gas. Now they have returned, but they are still experiencing the same symptoms they had when the gas leak was active. This disaster has been reported as “the worst methane gas leak in U.S. history.”

Yet the person who was supposed to prevent something like this from happening is being let off with minimal penalties. This is because the board of directors that reviewed her was mostly ex-corporate CEOs. All they saw was that Sempra earned a 16 percent gain in profits over the previous year, and that was enough for them to issue bonuses instead of severe punishments.

This profit-driven favor system should not decide the punishment for Reed. As Paula Cracium, president of the Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council, said, “This sends out a signal that as long as the dollars are there, the impact on people, homes and the environment doesn’t matter. That’s not the signal we need to send to executives who have so much power.” Sign this petition and demand that Reed receives the appropriate punishment for her negligence.


Dear Director Bunn,

It should be brought to your attention that Debra L. Reed, CEO of the company responsible for the Porter Ranch gas leak, will be fined only $130,000, while at the same time receiving a $3.17 million bonus. After causing the “worst methane gas leak in U.S. history,” she should be given a more severe punishment, not a bonus.

This was made possible because she was reviewed by a board of directors that was comprised of mostly ex-corporate CEOs. These people only cared for the gain in profits the company earned last year, downsizing the importance of the gas leak.

A gas leak that “doubles the methane emissions rate of the entire Los Angeles Basin” should not be ignored in favor of profits. As director of the California Department of Conservation, please use your power to make sure the Reed is given a fitting punishment.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Earthworks

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One Comment

  1. Lisa Allred Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & Shared.

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