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."

1,202 signatures

Who's signing

Showing 1234 reactions

  • signed 2016-01-30 16:25:41 -0800
  • signed 2016-01-30 10:58:32 -0800
    Because it’s the right thing to do…
  • signed 2016-01-30 03:30:29 -0800
    Deb Wood
  • signed 2016-01-29 20:55:56 -0800
    Thanks to Richard Mathews and Climate Hawks for persisting with this petition.
  • 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
  • signed 2016-01-29 14:58:28 -0800
  • signed 2016-01-29 11:42:27 -0800
    How many more Porter Ranches are out there, just waiting to burst methane and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere? This is an outrage.
  • signed 2016-01-28 16:09:57 -0800
  • signed 2016-01-28 10:44:11 -0800
  • 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.
  • signed 2016-01-28 03:24:57 -0800
    Wendy Johnson-Niblick
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-01-28 01:15:19 -0800
    Sign the petition: President Obama: Declare The Porter Ranch Gas Leak A National Disaster
  • signed 2016-01-28 01:14:48 -0800
    Victor Pasnick
  • signed 2016-01-27 22:29:51 -0800
  • signed 2016-01-27 22:04:59 -0800
  • signed via 2016-01-27 22:02:58 -0800
    Trudy Williams
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-01-27 21:02:32 -0800
    Sign the petition: President Obama: Declare The Porter Ranch Gas Leak A National Disaster
  • signed 2016-01-27 20:53:42 -0800
  • signed 2016-01-27 14:05:47 -0800
  • signed 2016-01-27 01:15:33 -0800
  • signed via 2016-01-26 13:47:57 -0800
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-01-26 04:07:15 -0800
    Sign the petition: President Obama: Declare The Porter Ranch Gas Leak A National Disaster
  • signed 2016-01-26 04:06:53 -0800
    Nationalize Southern California Gas Company! This company — which removed the Aliso Canyon well’s blowout prevention system in 1979 to save money — has no moral right to remain a profit-making corporation. Yes, it needs to keep operating to supply natural gas to the network and infrastructure that has been built to supply energy to the millions of customers who need and use it . . . for now. But any SoCal Gas ‘profits’ now must go to pay for climate change preparation and mitigation, even more badly needed because of this enormous methane source, and to fund the development of the renewable energy technologies so desperately needed to replace the dangerous fossil fuel systems SoCal Gas’s well-leak disaster so massively demonstrates.
  • signed 2016-01-25 19:54:20 -0800
    Terry Saucier
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-01-25 14:49:16 -0800
    Sign the petition: President Obama: Declare The Porter Ranch Gas Leak A National Disaster
  • @partownerofusa tweeted link to this page. 2016-01-25 14:49:12 -0800
    Sign the petition: President Obama: Declare The Porter Ranch Gas Leak A National Disaster http://www.climatehawksvote.com/porter_ranch_fracking_disaster?recruiter_id=1835048
  • signed 2016-01-25 14:48:17 -0800
  • signed via 2016-01-25 01:28:23 -0800
  • signed via 2016-01-24 19:05:14 -0800
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-01-24 18:06:17 -0800
    Sign the petition: President Obama: Declare The Porter Ranch Gas Leak A National Disaster