Senator Stern Slams “Secretive” Approval of SoCalGas Request to Dramatically Expand Use of Aliso Canyon

California State Senate Oversight Hearing to Take a Closer Look Tomorrow at 9:30 am

March 5, 2018

SACRAMENTO - Responding to a weekend decision by an employee of the California Public Utilities Commission to allow SoCalGas to dramatically expand the usage of Aliso Canyon, without public notice or Commission approval, Senator Stern questioned the basis of the decision.

In a letter to the CPUC (included below), Stern raised numerous concerns about ongoing seismic and fire risk and a lack of evidence provided that the faulty field was indeed being utilized as a last resort.  The Aliso Withdrawal Protocol approved by the CPUC for this winter stipulates that the field cannot be used unless SoCalGas shows that all available and necessary efforts to reduce demand for natural gas have been undertaken, and that there is imminent risk to the grid without the use of Aliso.  

“A contrived emergency,” stated Stern, “justified by an opaque, self-interested rationale by SoCalGas, is no emergency at all.”  

Tomorrow, the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee will be holding an annual CPUC oversight hearing where this decision is likely to be called into question.  A livestream of the hearing can be viewed here.  The Senator’s letter to the CPUC is attached.



Henry Stern is Chair of the Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments, and the first millennial elected to the Senate. Senator Stern also serves on Energy, Utilities and Communications, Environmental Quality, Judiciary, and Natural Resources and Water. He represents nearly 1 million residents of the 27th District living in east Ventura County and northwest Los Angeles County.

Contact:  Phone: (805) 822-9694