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    The Road to Tyranny by Don Jans

    Senate Energy Committee Votes 8-1 To Pass Aliso Canyon Closure Bill

    Sacramento, CA – In an 8 to 1 vote, the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee voted in favor of moving SB 1486, the Clean Energy Jobs, Coordination and Community Safety Through Aliso Canyon Closure Act. More than a dozen people testified supporting the bill in the hearing’s public comment period, citing climate and public health concerns. Only two public comments opposed the bill. California Senator Henry Stern (D-Los Angeles) introduced the bill in January with strong community support. The bill will go on to the Appropriations Committee.

    The bill sets a firm 2027 timeline for the shutdown of SoCalGas’ Aliso Canyon storage facility, site of the nation’s worst natural gas blowout, and establishes the facility as an asset of last resort until then. The bill also mandates protections and safeguards for workers who would be displaced from their jobs at Aliso Canyon and ensures their transition to clean energy work. It also mandates a plan for natural gas demand reduction. SB1486 will stipulate that the facility cannot be used for hydrogen, biofuels or carbon capture.

    “A future without Aliso Canyon is finally in sight,” said Senator Henry Stern (D-Los Angeles), the bill’s author, in response to the hearing results. “I applaud the Committee members who voted in favor of SB 1486 today. We know the future has no place for dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure like the Aliso Canyon SoCalGas facility, and Governor Newsom has made it clear that California is headed for a transition to clean energy. That transition can happen right now.”

    “Justice is on the way for those who have lived in the shadow of Aliso Canyon,” said Andrea Vega, Southern California Organizer with Food & Water Watch. “The people are powering this fight, and this victory belongs to them. We will keep fighting for the passage of SB 1486 and the vision of a clean energy future for California where no one is left behind. Our climate can’t wait for the delayed timelines and half measures offered by profiteering fossil fuel companies, and neither can our communities.”

    Governor Newsom has mandated a fast-track for the site’s closure, yet the Public Utilities Commission voted to increase the site’s storage capacity in November 2021.The 2015 gas blowout that made Aliso Canyon’s name synonymous with disaster sickened thousands of residents, many of whom are still suffering health effects like cancer and asthma today.



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