President Obama: Declare The Porter Ranch Gas Leak A National Disaster

Please add your name to this petition by Richard Mathews, a resident of Los Angeles County who has been fighting to protect Porter Ranch from the fossil-fuel industry, and whose family is directly affected by the ongoing climate disaster of the explosive natural gas leak at the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Area.


"Dear President Obama: Declare Los Angeles County to be a national disaster area due to the massive fracked gas leak at the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility."

I’m Richard Mathews and I live within smelling distance of the fracked natural gas leak that has been spewing methane and toxins into the Los Angeles air since at least October 23, coming from an underground storage area above the suburb of Porter Ranch and holding fracked natural gas imported from other states. The company responsible is Southern California Gas, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy.

I live four miles from the site of this toxic disaster—the largest natural gas leak in U.S. history—and can smell the nasty fumes. But it’s even worse for people like my 88-year-old mother, who lives with me and is suffering from headaches and nausea but who feels she is too old to handle relocation. Thousands of families have fled their homes, and many more are still getting sick. Others like my mother are on the waiting list to get air purifiers. The leak isn't expected to be fixed until Halliburton completes drilling a relief well around March.

Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas contributing to rapid warming—over 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. The greenhouse impact of this leak is the equivalent of the pollution from seven million cars or six coal-fired power plants. I’ve calculated that this leak spews more gas, by volume, into the atmosphere than the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster leaked oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

That global disaster troubles climate hawks like me. But equally worrisome, methane is highly explosive, and the chemicals mixed with the methane are making people sick. These include methyl mercaptan (the rotten-egg-smell they add to natural gas), benzene, radon, hydrogen sulfide, and a mist of crude oil. While the methane spreads around the world, these toxins stay close to the ground and accumulate in our valley.

On January 6, California Gov. Jerry Brown dropped by for an hour and declared it a disaster. Now, President Obama needs to meet with affected residents, understand the havoc wreaked by his pro-fracking policy, and declare the site a national disaster area.

President Obama’s national disaster declaration will help residents get tax benefits, mortgage relief, and federal resources to improve health—and help this nation to start fighting back against the out-of-control fracking industry.

Please add your name to mine today.

"Dear President Obama: Declare Los Angeles County to be a national disaster area due to the massive fracked gas leak at the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility."

937 signatures

Who's signing

Geraldine Ring
Caleb Laieski
Dane Horn
Anton Nemeth
Eva Musin
Victor Zucker
Ramesh Sharma
Laura Petersen
david danon
Karleen Basch
Donye Sacco
Tina Brenza
Patricia Sulpizio
Sally Arroyo
Grace Adams
Kris Withrow
Maude Hills
Marilyn Martin
Elvira Garcia
Jacob Richards
Melissa Larsen
Marian Orvis
Deb Wood
Henry Stern
Barbara Ulman
Larry Wash
patricia wolk
Kevin Mazzocco

Showing 932 reactions

  • Geraldine Ring
    signed 2016-08-03 06:13:05 -0700
    Geraldine Ring
  • Caleb Laieski
    signed 2016-06-25 21:05:09 -0700
    The Porter Ranch Gas Leak is a National Disaster and I ask for you to take immediate action on this matter. Regards, Caleb Laieski
  • Dane Horn
    signed 2016-05-28 08:27:27 -0700
    Dane Horn
  • Anton Nemeth
    signed 2016-04-20 18:16:59 -0700
    Anton Nemeth
  • Eva Musin
    signed 2016-04-02 18:47:42 -0700
    Thanks for your good work.
  • Victor Zucker
    signed 2016-04-02 18:44:49 -0700
    Thanks for your work
  • Ramesh Sharma
    signed 2016-04-02 09:06:19 -0700
    Please fix this problem for good, We have suffered enough.
  • Laura Petersen
    signed 2016-03-31 07:33:48 -0700
    Laura Petersen
  • david danon
    signed 2016-03-25 20:53:46 -0700
  • Karleen Basch
    signed 2016-03-15 18:06:25 -0700
  • Donye Sacco
    signed 2016-03-11 08:44:09 -0800
    Donye Sacco
  • Tina Brenza
    signed 2016-03-09 12:51:26 -0800
    Tina Brenza
  • Patricia Sulpizio
    signed 2016-03-01 00:35:41 -0800
  • Sally Arroyo
    signed 2016-02-29 12:59:59 -0800
  • Grace Adams
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-02-19 14:25:38 -0800
    Sign the petition: President Obama: Declare The Porter Ranch Gas Leak A National Disaster
  • Grace Adams
    @GraceCAdams tweeted link to this page. 2016-02-19 14:25:33 -0800
    Sign the petition: President Obama: Declare The Porter Ranch Gas Leak A National Disaster
  • Grace Adams
    signed 2016-02-19 14:24:44 -0800
    Politically, I suspect only way we can keep it in the ground is to BUY it as mineral rights. Trying to pick a fight with them is too likely to be counter productive.. I hope it will be possible to tax energy including fossil fuel to raise revenue to buy fossil fuel as mineral rights.
  • Kris Withrow
    signed 2016-02-11 10:04:58 -0800
    My husband works in Porter Ranch and is not able to quit his job. He builds homes and is outside all the time just 1 mile away from the location. He has had problems since the leak began. Same as residents. Please Help!!
  • Maude Hills
    signed 2016-02-06 03:50:51 -0800
    It has been proven that methane gas is extremely toxic, yet the gas hemorrhages through Los Angeles county. Please declare this leak a national disaster, so that funds will be available for the many needs residents have as a result of this unprecedented leak.
  • Marilyn Martin
    signed 2016-02-04 17:53:06 -0800
    Marilyn Martin
  • Elvira Garcia
    signed 2016-02-03 13:44:15 -0800
  • Jacob Richards
    signed via 2016-02-02 18:18:42 -0800
    I’m a californian native. I’m from Redlands. And I love california at heart. And I don’t want to see it destroyed buy incompentence! Please shut that facilty down and shut down edison for being negligent in conducting operation in california. They obviously don’t care about our residents. Just $.
  • Melissa Larsen
    signed 2016-02-01 09:00:56 -0800
    Melissa Larsen
  • Marian Orvis
    signed 2016-01-30 10:58:32 -0800
    Because it’s the right thing to do…
  • Deb Wood
    signed 2016-01-30 03:30:29 -0800
    Deb Wood
  • Henry Stern
    signed 2016-01-29 20:55:56 -0800
    Thanks to Richard Mathews and Climate Hawks for persisting with this petition.
  • Barbara Ulman
    signed 2016-01-29 16:02:31 -0800
    It’s important to publicize the dangers of fracking. This gas leak is probably at least partially caused by fracking — a terrible way to treat the earth and the people who live here. Barbara Ulman
  • Larry Wash
    signed 2016-01-29 14:58:28 -0800
  • patricia wolk
    signed 2016-01-28 10:44:11 -0800
  • Kevin Mazzocco
    signed 2016-01-28 04:54:44 -0800
    Fracking is turning out to be one of the worst things we humans have ever done to our environment and WE are going to pay the price. Stop it NOW.