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

Jason Schulman
Richard Burger
Jessica Stabler
Barbara Hernandez
jan cecil
Marie Beckham
Richard Freeman
Doug Brown
Carolyn Ricketts
Nancy Odell
Pamela Vlcek
John AND Jean Fleming
Janet Kennington
Kevin Murphy
Lynn Walker
Kamran Nayeri
Vic Mandarich
Margie Bernard
Jean tepperman
Elvin Stewart
Norman Koerner
Edward Bell
JoAnn Conrad
David Gassman
Eugene Marner
Nancy Rieser
Janice Hallman
stephen frank g
Alexandria Villegas

Showing 1234 reactions

  • Jason Schulman
    signed 2016-01-12 17:33:32 -0800
  • Richard Burger
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-01-12 17:27:35 -0800
    Sign the petition: President Obama: Declare The Porter Ranch Gas Leak A National Disaster
  • Richard Burger
    signed via 2016-01-12 17:27:11 -0800
  • Jessica Stabler
    signed 2016-01-12 17:22:42 -0800
  • Barbara Hernandez
    signed 2016-01-12 17:20:42 -0800
  • jan cecil
    signed 2016-01-12 17:12:07 -0800
  • Marie Beckham
    signed 2016-01-12 16:55:50 -0800
  • Richard Freeman
    signed 2016-01-12 16:47:26 -0800
    We are, of course, helpless when infrastructure fails. This is an issue that President Obama cited when he was running for president THE FIRST TIME.

    PLEASE use your authority to get Gov. Brown off of his seat, and get a fix in place, AND make sure that heads roll at the sacrosanct SoCal Gas Company.
  • Doug Brown
    signed 2016-01-12 16:29:32 -0800
  • Carolyn Ricketts
    signed 2016-01-12 16:18:43 -0800
  • Nancy Odell
    signed 2016-01-12 16:04:58 -0800
  • Pamela Vlcek
    signed via 2016-01-12 16:03:14 -0800
  • John AND Jean Fleming
    signed 2016-01-12 15:53:20 -0800
  • Janet Kennington
    signed via 2016-01-12 15:52:27 -0800
  • Kevin Murphy
    signed via 2016-01-12 15:43:05 -0800
  • Lynn Walker
    signed 2016-01-12 15:39:30 -0800
  • Kamran Nayeri
    signed 2016-01-12 14:54:27 -0800
  • Vic Mandarich
    signed 2016-01-12 14:39:09 -0800
  • Margie Bernard
    signed via 2016-01-12 14:34:13 -0800
  • Jean tepperman
    signed 2016-01-12 14:28:37 -0800
    Every day this leak continues more people get sick and the climate moves faster to catasrophe
  • Elvin Stewart
    signed 2016-01-12 14:16:45 -0800
  • Norman Koerner
    signed 2016-01-12 14:02:35 -0800
  • Edward Bell
    signed 2016-01-12 13:59:01 -0800
  • JoAnn Conrad
    signed via 2016-01-12 13:58:25 -0800
    Why is this not an national emergency?
  • David Gassman
    signed 2016-01-12 13:57:38 -0800
  • Eugene Marner
    signed 2016-01-12 13:39:30 -0800
  • Nancy Rieser
    signed via 2016-01-12 13:27:34 -0800
  • Janice Hallman
    signed 2016-01-12 13:25:28 -0800
    There needs to be federal fines and actions to stop this disaster!!
  • stephen frank g
    signed via 2016-01-12 12:55:49 -0800
  • Alexandria Villegas
    signed 2016-01-12 12:53:53 -0800