The LA County Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed to send a formal letter to the Governor at there January 7th meeting with two asks. First to fast track the shut down of Aliso Canyon, the SoCal Gas storage facility and site of the largest methane gas leak in U.S. history in which tens of thousands of Angelenos were poisoned by toxic chemicals and forced to flee there homes for months. Second, at the urging of County Supervisor Janice Hahn, the board included the request for a feasibility study to look at shutting down the PdR facility as well. Aliso Canyon unequivocally showed the grave threat these facilities pose to the public. The PdR facility's location with at least 500,000 ppl living within 5 miles and LAX's boundary only a mile from the facility, creates a massive risk to Los Angeles. A blowout at PdR has the potential to dwarf the horrors that played out at Aliso Canyon. Therefore, it is great to see local elected officials begin to take this threat seriously and begin standing up for the public over SoCal Gas' profits.
Of course SoCal Gas still has it defenders. Chief among them Cyndi Hench former president of PdR/Westchester Neighborhood Council and a longtime apologist for SoCal Gas. Hench was quoted in a recent Argonaut article using the same tired talking points of gas shortages despite the fact countless municipalities manage fine without storing these toxins in there communities including San Diego, CA. It also ignores the fact our city operated for nearly 2 years without Aliso Canyon, a facility 12 times the size of PdR. If LA could survive without the largest it certainly can survive without the smallest. This is an old threat SoCal Gas uses to scare local politicians into bowing to their will and fight any attempts to move away from gas. She then goes on to make an odd pivot arguing since the geology in the area is well suited for gas storage we must store gas there. I fail to understand the logic that just because something can be done there it must be done there. The only reason the PdR facility is there is not to provide the community with natural gas, it is to provide the large industrial customers like Chevron and SoCal Edison cheap gas so they can continue to exacerbate the climate crisis.
An LMU* professor also weighed in using the "bridge fuel" argument. This argument would hold more weight if in concert there was an argument to nationalize the this fossil fuel infrastructure. Otherwise it is just another SoCal Gas talking point to hinder any progress away from a fossil fuel economy. As long as SoCal Gas has a profit motive they will never stop advocating or scaring Los Angeles into maintaining these facilities. Further, they will also always be able to find ways to either manipulate or trick other members of the community to spew these talking points for them. Our government leaders need to stand up to these powerful interests and move us forward to cleaner energy future.
*LMU has received financial donations from SoCal Gas in the past
On Feb. 12 Mayor Garcetti announced that he plans to phase out methane gas at the three coastal power plants. This announcement came after years of community engagement with LADWP as well as the energy brought by the Sunrise Green New Deal movement.
You can read a local perspective in the Argonaut here:
Here is an LA Times report after the announcement:
Last week the state of CA and City of Los Angeles has reached a tentative settlement with SoCalGas for 119.5M dollars. SoCalGas will directly benefit for 26.5M that will be used on methane capturing technology at factory farms in the central valley. The idea that SoCalGas will financially benefit from their role in poisoning tens of thousands of Angelenos is disgraceful. No money from the settlement should be investing in infrastructure that will directly benefit SoCalGas. Some money is allocated for health studies and monitoring. 7.1 million is going to provide air filtration systems in "environmental justice" communities throughout LA County. Instead of paying 7.1M to clean the air for those communities why don't we #ShutItAll and stop poisoning the air to begin with. We don't need to choose between having energy or poisoning a portion of our population. We can have energy and clean air, we just need political will. Los Angeles and the state of California needed to do better. You can let them know by commenting on the settlement HERE
Dr. Jeffrey Nordella is launching a new study to look at the Benzene levels of victims of the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas disaster. The study is desperately needed in the wake of a deposition a SoCalGas representative gave recently in which the individual recalled “levels of benzene that were pretty high in earlier days … they just quit testing for benzene entirely,” Benzene can have severe impacts on human health and the World Health Organization says "no safe level of exposure can be recommended."
A new study finds methane gas emissions have been greatly under-reported by at least 63%. New study estimates we lose 2.3 percent of our gross production. Almost a percent higher than the EPA's official number. It is likely these estimates could be too low as the study primarily focused on where gas was produced and not where it was consumed. A thorough study of our entire natural gas system could show an even greater percentage of leakage. This is troubling because "once the natural gas leakage rate hit between four and five percent of gross US natural gas production, natural gas is about equivalent to burning coal from a climate perspective." The only way to ensure our energy is safe for our health and the environment is to move away from all fossil fuels immediately. The future is today.
On May 2, 2018 SoCalGas PR team wrote an op-ed in The Argonaut. We strongly reject SoCalGas new efforts to re-frame the debate around consumer choice. SoCalGas objections to moving away from fossil fuels has nothing to do with consumer choice and everything to do with their bottom line. Here is our rebuttal to the op-ed, portions of which were published in the Argonaut on May 16, 2018
Protect Playa Now is launching a community air monitoring program. We are have designed monitors that will allow the community to collect data on the air quality. Our goal is to place 200 units throughout the communities of Playa del Rey (PdR), Playa Vista, Marina del Rey in the immediate area surrounding the PdR methane storage facility. Please help us raise funding to get this project off the ground. Every little bit helps. Thank you for your support.
In October Tulsi Gabbard introduced a bold and necessary piece of legislation commonly referred to as the OFF Act (H.R. 3671 Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act). We are proud of the efforts of our coalition partners Indivisible CA43 and Food and Water Watch for successfully lobbying Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) to co-sponsor the legislation. Maxine joined area representatives Ted Lieu (CA-33) and Karen Bass (CA-37) in supporting this important piece of legislation. We do not have to choose between a healthy safe environment and having energy. The OFF act will ensure that no communities will be forced to live with dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure in their neighborhoods threatening their public health.
The Environmental Health Tracker app is now available for residents living around the Playa del Rey (PdR) methane storage facility. Download it now and report the symptoms from toxic exposure to chemicals leaking from the PdR facility. This data combined with data collected from Protect Playa Now's planned neighborhood monitoring program will provide the community with the information necessary to protect ourselves from the toxic cocktail emitting from the SoCalGas PdR facility. You can download the app for Apple or Android devices.
On April 14, 2018 Protect Playa Now hosted a Health and Safety Forum at Holy Nativity Church in Westchester. Community members heard from Dr. Jeffrey Nordella about the health risks posed by the chemicals leaking from natural gas storage facilities and the toxic exposure victims of the Aliso Canyon disaster continue to deal with. Andrew Krowne announced the release of the Environmental Health Tracker app for community members around the PdR natural gas storage and Diego Wuethrich spoke about a new monitoring initiative PPN is launching. It was a great event and a huge thanks to all the coalition partners and volunteers that made it a phenomenal success. We could not have done it without you
The Colorado School of Public Health completed a study in Colorado that showed a significantly increased cancer risk for people living near oil and gas operations. They found a person living near oil and gas wells are over 8 times more at risk to developing cancer than highest allowable thresholds under the EPA permit. We need to change our energy system and economy now. We should not have to choose between having energy and our health. We can have both with some ingenuity, leadership and collective will. The time is now. Lets work together to build an energy system that meets our needs without poisoning our people.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) wants to waste hundreds of millions of public dollars to rebuild the Scattergood power plant with soon to be obsolete natural gas technology. That money would be far better spent on incentive programs that allow residents of Los Angeles retrofit their homes to lower energy costs and to invest in renewable energy production and battery storage. Synaspe just released a report outlining 2 ways in which Los Angeles can reach 100% renewable by 2030. Why spend hundreds of millions to update a facility with technology that will be obsolete in about a decade. It is not just moral reprehensible to have public dollars continue to invest in technology that exacerbates the global climate change crisis, it is fiscally irresponsible to waste so much money on an extremely short term solution. Contact LADWP and tell them not to spend 630 million dollars on our past and instead invest in our future.
Protect Playa Now (PPN) will be hosting a Health and Safety Forum on April 14, 2018 to answer these questions. Please join us as we will discuss the threats posed by the Playa del Rey (PdR) methane gas facility. We will have speakers addressing the negative health impacts of gas facilities and provide simple steps you can take to help make you and our community safer. We look forward to seeing you there. Together we can protect our communities from the next natural gas disaster. Here is everything you need to know:
PPN Health and Safety Forum
Date: Saturday April 14, 2018
Time: 10AM to 12PM
Location: Holy Nativity Episcopal Church
6700 W 83rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Synaspe Energy Economics Inc completed a report looking into Los Angeles' transition to 100% renewable energy. Food and Water Watch funded the study and the group actually model two different scenarios in which Los Angeles could generate every hour of energy from renewable sources by 2030. LADWP needs to read this report and integrate its recommendations into it's long term strategy and planning. This report make it's clear that:
Read the full report by clicking on the picture below.
350 South Bay/Los Angeles is hosting an educational forum about the realities of living near oil refineries. Community members living near any fossil fuel infrastructure face many of the same health and safety concerns. If you'd like to learn more please attend:
ABC's of Living Near a Refinery
Sunday March 11, 2018
11 AM to 1:15 PM
Torrance Airport Meeting Room
3301 Airport Drive
Torrance, CA 90503