Where: near DTLA (RSVP for details)
It’s been five years since the worst gas blowout in U.S. history at the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon storage facility, and Los Angeles communities are still fighting to shut down Aliso Canyon.
Residents have called for a car caravan that will highlight the issue and the elected officials who have failed us.
Join us to commemorate this disaster, honor the families harmed, the champions fighting for justice, and the continued work to hold Governor Newsom accountable to his promise to shut down Aliso Canyon.
We take the challenges of organizing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously. The safest way to observe social distance is by participating via a vehicle, and wearing masks when appropriate.
If a vehicle is not accessible to you, we also have many meaningful ways to participate on foot, but will require that you wear a mask and take the appropriate cautions to observe social distance, as well as maintaining proper hand hygeine. We will do our best to provide masks to those who don’t have them, and carry other supplies such as hand sanitizer, but it’s best to come prepared.
There are also opportunities to volunteer to make this action a success. Please consider joining the team!
DSA-LA Calls for the Closure of the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility
The Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, in the San Fernando Valley, is owned by the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas). It has a capacity of over 86 billion cubic feet of natural gas, the second-largest storage facility in the Western U.S.
A gas blowout was discovered Oct 23, 2015 and brought under control only months later on February 11, 2016. The methane leak of over 100,000 metric tons was the largest in U.S. history with a daily release equivalent to the emissions from 6 coal fired power plants or 4.5 million cars.
Fallout from the methane cloud, in the form of oily droplets caused the evacuation of roughly 25,000 people and the closing of two schools. Some 30 firefighters suffering from nosebleeds, dizziness, migraines, dermatological problems, respiratory problems and cancer have since sued SoCalGas for withholding information about the toxicity of leaked chemicals to which they were exposed.
Since the blowout, there have been at least 15 leaks and spills from the facility reported to state regulators, and the facility is highly vulnerable to earthquakes and wildfires, with catastrophic potential.
Prior to the blowout, SoCalGas sold storage space to large gas users, which earned shareholders up to $20 million annually, and this activity has continued. At the end of 2018, Aliso Canyon was valued at $724 million. Costs from the leak have been passed on mostly to working class rate payers.
Under Governor Newsom, gas storage at Aliso Canyon has increased by 3000% over the storage during Governor Brown’s last two years in office. Newsom has made promises to close the facility, but he and his staff have repeatedly denied requests for meetings with advocates.
Methane is a major greenhouse gas with a Global Warming Potential 86 times that of carbon dioxide over a 20 year period. Aliso Canyon continues to be a source of methane leaks along with other pollutants and toxins. The South Coast Air Quality Management District reports that Aliso Canyon routinely emits formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, ethyl-benzene, xylene, acetaldehyde, uranium, acrolein, ammonia, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. According to the EPA, the facility is the third most polluting gas storage field in the U.S.
The Aliso Canyon storage facility is a prototype example of the incompatibility of capitalism with a survivable and sustainable planet. Investors rake in millions of dollars in profits by emitting voluminous quantities of greenhouse gases, renting storage space to other polluters, endangering Los Angeles residents, and transferring the costs of damages to the public. DSA-LA therefore calls for the rapid closing of the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility as an essential step away from capitalist destruction and toward an ecosocialist future.