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

Bradford Kenney
June Green
Robert Charleston
Max Bean
Alice Parra
David Brodnax
Diana Alcocer
Tracy Cawdrey
Kendra Brooks
Margaret Curley
Katja Irvin
Suzanne DeBenedittis
Jeff Bague
Linda Chimenti
lora jo foo
Jay Wolfson
Kathy Stewart
Nicholas Sherman
Grace Feldmann
Kristen Debler
Gayle Sprague
Charlotte Cash
Denise Bunge
luke dunn
Lisa Woodsrd
Brenda Lee
Brian Horton
Rosemary Hewett
Meryle Korn
Frances Aubrey

Showing 932 reactions

  • Bradford Kenney
    signed 2016-01-13 04:59:12 -0800
  • June Green
    signed 2016-01-13 04:46:49 -0800
  • Robert Charleston
    signed 2016-01-13 02:59:41 -0800
  • Max Bean
    signed 2016-01-13 02:04:28 -0800
  • Alice Parra
    signed 2016-01-13 01:31:04 -0800
  • David Brodnax
    signed 2016-01-12 23:27:18 -0800
  • Diana Alcocer
    signed 2016-01-12 23:06:34 -0800
  • Tracy Cawdrey
    signed 2016-01-12 23:03:14 -0800
    You would do something for sure if it was the Obama family living there. Your SUPPOSED to be taking care of the country and the people in it, so what’s up Mr. President ????
  • Kendra Brooks
    signed 2016-01-12 21:51:45 -0800
  • Margaret Curley
    signed 2016-01-12 21:32:02 -0800
  • Katja Irvin
    signed 2016-01-12 21:23:07 -0800
  • Suzanne DeBenedittis
    signed 2016-01-12 20:52:33 -0800
  • Jeff Bague
    signed 2016-01-12 20:06:53 -0800
  • Linda Chimenti
    signed 2016-01-12 20:05:27 -0800
  • lora jo foo
    signed 2016-01-12 20:01:17 -0800
  • Jay Wolfson
    signed 2016-01-12 19:58:56 -0800
  • Kathy Stewart
    signed 2016-01-12 19:46:15 -0800
  • Nicholas Sherman
    signed 2016-01-12 19:43:12 -0800
  • Grace Feldmann
    signed 2016-01-12 19:32:32 -0800
  • Kristen Debler
    signed 2016-01-12 19:32:14 -0800
  • Gayle Sprague
    signed 2016-01-12 19:29:20 -0800
  • Charlotte Cash
    signed 2016-01-12 19:18:44 -0800
  • Denise Bunge
    signed 2016-01-12 19:15:58 -0800
  • luke dunn
    signed 2016-01-12 19:13:27 -0800
  • Lisa Woodsrd
    signed 2016-01-12 18:57:24 -0800
  • Brenda Lee
    signed 2016-01-12 18:50:53 -0800
    My family lives and works near the area most impacted and I am extremely concerned about this disaster and the continued ’mismanagement and greed" of the Southern California Gas Company who has been more concerned with profits than public safety! Enough!
  • Brian Horton
    signed 2016-01-12 18:16:23 -0800
  • Rosemary Hewett
    signed 2016-01-12 18:08:44 -0800
  • Meryle Korn
    signed 2016-01-12 18:03:29 -0800
  • Frances Aubrey
    signed 2016-01-12 18:02:21 -0800