Did Gov. Brown Delay Action on Gas Leak Because of His Sister's Connections to Fossil Fuel?

  January 19, 2016

Did Gov. Brown Delay Action on Gas Leak Because of His Sister's Connections to Fossil Fuel?

Last week, activists in Washington, DC brought several questions to lawmakers in the nation's capital. Among them: Did Governor Brown's sister, who sits on the board of a San Diego-based natural gas utilities company, influence a 74-day delay in California's response to the Los Angeles gas leak?
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


Share to Facebook Share to Twitter

Amongst "independent" media the only one which (so far) has served only insight and versatility. - HÃ¥kan
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


Did Gov. Brown Delay Action on Gas Leak Because of His Sister's 
Connections to Fossil 
Fuel?THOMAS HEDGES, TRNN: Last week, activists traveled to the nation's capital to demand federal intervention in the Los Angeles methane gas leak, which many say is as serious an environmental disaster as the BP oil spill of 2010.

WALKER FOLEY: We were out in front of the EPA today to deliver a message to EPA administrators to use their authority to protect the residents of, say, of Porter Ranch and the San Fernando Valley.

HEDGES: Local residents and consumer advocates from Food and Water Watch say the company SoCal Gas as well as local, state, and federal representatives have been far too slow to respond to the crisis, and it was only through the residents' own efforts that the gas company even acknowledged publicly there was a dangerous methane leak.

FOLEY: It wasn't until a group of residents called Save Porter Ranch really exposed the situation to our local electeds that the severity of the situation started to be understood. And then came the press. And Gov. Brown, for 74 days, did nothing.

HEDGES: So far the gas leak has spewed more than 85,000 metric tonnes of noxious methane over the past three months. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a driver of climate change.

FOLEY: A lot of these wells are 50, 60, some are even 80 years old. There's over 100 of them up in the field. And one in particular had pipeline corrosion, sprang a leak, and all of this gas in that storage facility, and there's 86 billion cubic feet of it, are now pouring out into the atmosphere and into the community.

HEDGES: Residents in and around the Porter Ranch area are also breathing in a slew of chemical compounds because of the leak, like benzene, toluene, and xylene.

FOLEY: Benzene causes cancer. Specifically, it can cause blood cancers like leukemia.

ADAM SCOW: People are getting headaches, vomiting, nausea.

HEDGES: The leak comes from broken piping within the Southern California Gas Company's Aliso Canyon storage facility north of LA. SoCal gas can't pinpoint the leak, and says that it could take months for them to do so.

But activists are especially outraged at Gov. Jerry Brown's hypocrisy as a well-known advocate of the environment, while also doing little to address the crisis in his home state.

FOLEY: Meanwhile he flew to Paris, and talked a big talk about climate change. But he was ignoring the biggest climate catastrophe in his state. And then we find out that his sister, Kathleen Brown, is sitting on the board of Sempra Energy, which is the parent company. And the oil and gas lobby is the biggest lobby in the state of California, has given millions to Brown, his initiatives, his campaigns. And so we certainly think there is grounds to investigate a conflict of interest. As for calling for the governor's resignation, I think that's certainly an interesting idea, and I would like to see how all this plays out as we go.

HEDGES: On Saturday, Southern California air regulators failed to take a course of action on containing the methane, furthering the harm to health and the environment that residents and activists want the EPA to put a stop to immediately. Amid the crisis, Food and Water Watch and other environmental organizations don't want the public to lose sight of the larger goal, which is not only to fix the leak but to fight the surge of fracking and the use of natural gas in California, as well as in other parts of the country.

SCOW: Certainly that makes sense, we have to plug the leak. What we're concerned about is that will be the end-all, and that is missing the elephant in the room. The elephant in the room is the increased use of natural gas in California, Los Angeles, and throughout the country, frankly. As we're seeing coal being dwindled down we're seeing a massive rise of natural gas. And with that increase of natural gas we've seen more blowouts, explosions around the country, and certainly the Porter Ranch is on another level. However, the storage facility, there's about 300-400 facilities like the Aliso Canyon facility that are also in danger of having similar accidents.

So what we need to be doing is phasing out natural gas in favor of renewable energy in California and throughout the country.

HEDGES: For the Real News, Thomas Hedges and Kathleen Carter reporting from Washington.


DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

latest stories

How Washington's Money-Machine Stays Ahead of Democracy
TRIPS: The Story of How Intellectual Property Became Linked to Trade (2/7)
A Just Transition for Fossil Fuels Workers is Possible
Breaking Through Power: Jordan Estevao on Training for Change
The Right to Housing in Baltimore - TRNN Grand Opening
Tom Hayden on the Obama-Biden Ticket
Clinton's Strategy: Make Obama Unelectable
Prospect of US Arm Shipments to Ukraine After Elections Prompts Restarting of Peace Negotiations
TRIPS: The Story of How Intellectual Property Became Linked to Trade (1/7)
Why is the State of Maryland Defending Racist Practices of the Pocomoke police?
Elites Outraged At Trump's Refusal to Accept Election Result
Two More Land Rights Activists Assassinated in Honduras
Final Presidential Debate Accentuates Candidates' Divide on Abortion Rights
Clinton Reaffirms Commitment to No-Fly Zone in Syria
A Bloodier Battle for Mosul Might Begin After the Ouster of ISIS
Covering the Epidemic of Violence in Baltimore - TRNN Grand Opening
Justice Department Sues Pocomoke For Violating Rights of Fired Black Police Chief
Officers Withdrawn from North Dakota Following Arrest of Madison Elected Official
Fair Elections Under Attack, Just Not in the Way Donald Trump Wants You to Believe
TiSA Agreement Leaks Show Corporations Pushing Privatization of Public Services
Exxon Fighting to Shut Down Investigations Into Company's Foreknowledge of Climate Change
Opposition Calls for a General Strike As Congolese President Wins Election Delay
The Path to Actual Police Reform Starts with Real Civilian Oversight
HFC Reduction Agreement Is Historic, But No Silver Bullet for Climate Change
What the NYT Left Out About Obama's 'Secret War' in Somalia
After Mosul, Whither ISIS?
US-Russia Tensions Escalating Over Fate of Assad
Seattle Teachers in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter
'Rioting' Charges Dismissed against Journalist for Exposing State Repression Of Standing Rock Sioux
For Indigenous Lenca People in Honduras, Rebellion Is a Centuries-Old Story

TheRealNewsNetwork.com, RealNewsNetwork.com, The Real News Network, Real News Network, The Real News, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of Independent World Television inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and The Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting