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

Vicky Matsui
evi meuris
Daniel Fernandez
dr janice Kirsch
Catherine Kessler
connie woodring
Victor Cherdsuriya
Allan Mason
Cori Redstone
Janice Bishop
Sharon Fetter
Emily Lubahn
Ellen Zebrowski
Miriam Bluestone
Rebecca Hill
Andree de Champigny
Linda Avinger
Rab Berry
Zoe Bird
Marcus Slate
karen Hennessey
mark Novotny
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
Benjamin Franta
Herb Zetley
Alex Sandberg
Ralph Lopez
Timmy parker
Eugene burke

Showing 932 reactions

  • Vicky Matsui
    signed 2016-01-16 18:36:18 -0800
  • evi meuris
    signed 2016-01-16 16:40:54 -0800
  • Daniel Fernandez
    signed 2016-01-16 12:44:54 -0800
  • dr janice Kirsch
    signed 2016-01-16 07:35:19 -0800
  • Catherine Kessler
    signed 2016-01-16 07:14:39 -0800
  • connie woodring
    signed 2016-01-16 06:33:25 -0800
  • Victor Cherdsuriya
    signed 2016-01-15 23:15:58 -0800
  • Allan Mason
    signed 2016-01-15 22:33:22 -0800
  • Cori Redstone
    signed 2016-01-15 22:00:12 -0800
    I work East of the site in Pacoima and there have been days recently where we can smell it. I can’t believe the way the lawmakers in California have chosen to allow drilling everywhere, in every backyard and even on school properties just as long as they require a TON of paperwork to get it started. Once the drilling begins there isn’t a regulator or inspector in site! We have thousands of these sites IN OUR COMMUNITIES in Los Angeles and a government that is too dysfunctional and ridiculously good at passing the bureaucratic buck that it will take a Federal intervention to preserve the health of residents. I can’t believe it has taken PRIVATE CITIZENS to measure the methane levels in San Fernando valley. I am disgusted with the not only lack of response but disappearing act of our federal and state agencies on this one. Government officials should be ashamed!
  • Janice Bishop
    signed 2016-01-15 21:36:08 -0800
  • Sharon Fetter
    signed 2016-01-15 19:57:21 -0800
  • Emily Lubahn
    signed 2016-01-15 17:49:48 -0800
  • Ellen Zebrowski
    signed 2016-01-15 13:03:18 -0800
  • Miriam Bluestone
    signed 2016-01-15 05:37:09 -0800
  • Rebecca Hill
    signed 2016-01-14 22:51:09 -0800
  • Andree de Champigny
    signed 2016-01-14 21:12:22 -0800
  • Linda Avinger
    signed 2016-01-14 18:54:27 -0800
    This leak must be stopped NOW!
  • Rab Berry
    signed 2016-01-14 15:55:25 -0800
  • Zoe Bird
    signed 2016-01-14 15:42:57 -0800
  • Marcus Slate
    signed 2016-01-14 13:58:39 -0800
    SoCalGas is guessing that they can stop the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas leak, that started near the end of October 2015, by the end of March 2016. That’s a guess based on everything going the way they think matters will.There are a number of green Biomass sources that can easily replace the leaking Methane that was dangerously drilled without proper safeguards.There is now a no-fly zone recently implemented over a wide area of the Aliso Canyon leak, because aircraft could ignite the leaking gas causing a catastrophe well beyond current circumstances. Both reasons beyond the leak with worsening residents’ health issues are why the President should sign the Declaration closing The Aliso Canyon Natural Gas fields and start a immediate Super Fund Cleanup of the complete area including the surrounding SSFL.
  • karen Hennessey
    signed 2016-01-14 13:23:35 -0800
  • mark Novotny
    signed 2016-01-14 11:38:56 -0800
  • Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
    signed 2016-01-14 11:06:43 -0800
  • Benjamin Franta
    signed 2016-01-14 10:33:51 -0800
  • Herb Zetley
    signed 2016-01-14 10:29:11 -0800
  • Alex Sandberg
    signed via 2016-01-14 08:58:06 -0800
  • Ralph Lopez
    signed 2016-01-14 02:15:50 -0800
  • Timmy parker
    signed 2016-01-14 01:21:13 -0800
  • Eugene burke
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-01-14 01:15:27 -0800
    Sign the petition: President Obama: Declare The Porter Ranch Gas Leak A National Disaster
  • Eugene burke
    signed 2016-01-14 01:13:56 -0800