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Statement on Closed

Jun 15, 2023

Published Aug 28, 2023

Climate and Energy

Today, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) held a private meeting, closed to the public, to discuss increasing the capacity of the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility, which ruptured in 2015 leaking 100,000 metric tons of methane gas containing benzene and formaldehyde into neighboring communities in the San Fernando Valley. As a result of the blowout and its continuing impacts, when Governor Newsom took office he directed the CPUC to expedite the closure of Aliso Canyon by 2027. While the CPUC has not finalized a shutdown timeline, the Commission is set to vote on Thursday on whether to increase capacity at the gas storage facility.

Said Chirag Bhakta, Food & Water Watch California Director, “The thousands impacted by the 2015 blowout and those who continue to suffer health problems due to Aliso Canyon deserve a genuine opportunity to provide comment and input to the CPUC on this decision before Commissioners deliberate in any way. This closed-door process denies them that opportunity.

Further, the people of California expect an open and transparent process, not a show of public theater after the matter has already been discussed. Only a transparent process on Aliso Canyon will ensure that those who make decisions that can affect the health of our communities can be held accountable. The Newsom-appointed Public Utilities Commission should not discuss Aliso Canyon without hearing from directly impacted community members.

Governor Newsom has previously heeded the call from community members and agreed we need to shut Aliso Canyon down, but as this decision is being considered, it is critical that the Governor make it clear he opposes any expansion of Aliso Canyon.”

Said Lori Aivazian of Aliso Moms Alliance, “The Aliso Moms Alliance is deeply disappointed to hear that the CPUC is holding a closed door meeting today to deliberate on their upcoming vote to expand the storage capacity at the dangerous Aliso Canyon Facility. This lack of transparency is concerning. Considering how important the discussion of this matter is, it is incomprehensible that the public has been prevented from attending this meeting. For the health and safety of the children attending nearby schools and the tens of thousands of families living in the communities near the dangerous facility, the Aliso Moms Alliance continues to stand firmly against the pending decision by the CPUC to dramatically increase the volume of gas stored at Aliso Canyon to nearly 100% capacity. We urge the CPUC to stand by its framework to shut down the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility by 2027 which is supported by former Governor Brown, Governor Newsom, and numerous California State, and Los Angeles County and City Officials.”

Press Contact: Madeline Bove [email protected]

Chirag Bhakta, Food & Water Watch California DirectorLori Aivazian of Aliso Moms AlliancePress Contact: