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

Jo Chew
Nancy Wright
Sharyn Dreyer
Elsa Petersen
Michael Geraghty
Roberto Romo
Susan Hathaway
Janet Heinle
Ryan Houlette
Cynthia McGahee
James Cunningham
Timothy Havel
James Cox
Nancy Goldberg
Lisa Neste
Jeffrey Hurwitz
Charlotte Sines
Ann Block
Nicholas Santos
Christopher Stahl
Steve Bloom
Dennis Feichtinger
Eileen Chieco
Carolee Krieger
Mark Pezzati
Maria Magana
christina spolsky
David Broadwater
Susan Shaak Shaak

Showing 1234 reactions

  • Jo Chew
    signed 2016-01-11 12:19:31 -0800
  • Nancy Wright
    signed 2016-01-11 12:19:21 -0800
  • Sharyn Dreyer
    signed 2016-01-11 12:19:09 -0800
  • Elsa Petersen
    signed 2016-01-11 12:18:45 -0800
  • Michael Geraghty
    signed 2016-01-11 12:18:33 -0800
  • Roberto Romo
    signed 2016-01-11 12:18:25 -0800
  • Susan Hathaway
    signed 2016-01-11 12:18:03 -0800
  • Janet Heinle
    signed 2016-01-11 12:17:56 -0800
  • Ryan Houlette
    signed 2016-01-11 12:17:55 -0800
  • Cynthia McGahee
    signed via 2016-01-11 12:17:45 -0800
  • James Cunningham
    signed 2016-01-11 12:17:20 -0800
    Fossil fools will murder innocent Americans for profit every chance they get. We would not tolerate this behavior from foreign terrorists, so why do we tolerate it from domestic terrorists like the fossil fuel industry?
  • Timothy Havel
    signed 2016-01-11 12:17:11 -0800
  • James Cox
    signed 2016-01-11 12:17:09 -0800
  • Nancy Goldberg
    signed 2016-01-11 12:16:56 -0800
  • Lisa Neste
    signed 2016-01-11 12:16:51 -0800
  • Jeffrey Hurwitz
    signed 2016-01-11 12:16:36 -0800
  • Steve Bloom
    @stevebloom55 tweeted link to this page. 2016-01-11 12:16:27 -0800
    Sign the petition: President Obama: Declare The Porter Ranch Gas Leak A National Emergency
  • Charlotte Sines
    signed 2016-01-11 12:16:25 -0800
  • Ann Block
    signed 2016-01-11 12:16:16 -0800
    How horrible! The company responsible should be made to play for relocations, illnesses and other losses they have caused. U.S. gov’t should stop supporting fracking. Period.
  • Nicholas Santos
    signed 2016-01-11 12:16:00 -0800
  • Christopher Stahl
    signed 2016-01-11 12:15:49 -0800
  • Steve Bloom
    signed 2016-01-11 12:15:48 -0800
    Ultimately, it’s a bad idea to have run an explosive (and in large quantities toxic) gas into so many neighborhoods around the country. This disaster along with the one in San Bruno make it clear that the chickens are now coming home to roost with regard to aging infrastructure. Even were it practical to replace all that infrastructure, no such system can be made leak-proof, and the large global warming impact of methane emissions makes it clear that planning to retire natural gas as a fuel source needs to start now.
  • Dennis Feichtinger
    signed 2016-01-11 12:15:47 -0800
  • Eileen Chieco
    signed 2016-01-11 12:15:24 -0800
  • Carolee Krieger
    signed 2016-01-11 12:14:39 -0800
    This is worse than the BP Gulf oil spill and is affecting a lot of children as well as exacerbating climate change green house gas emissions. It is a national disaster!
  • Mark Pezzati
    signed via 2016-01-11 12:14:35 -0800
    Methane kills more climate than C02 from coal. Stop the methane. Stop the pipelines. Stop the “Constitution” frack gas pipeline in NY State!
  • Maria Magana
    signed 2016-01-11 12:14:34 -0800
  • christina spolsky
    signed 2016-01-11 12:14:01 -0800
  • David Broadwater
    signed 2016-01-11 12:13:57 -0800
  • Susan Shaak Shaak
    signed 2016-01-11 12:13:50 -0800