Encourages Governor to Direct SoCalGas to Deplete their Well

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY, CA — Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) commended Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to declare a state of emergency regarding the leaking gas well at Southern California Gas Co.’s (“SoCalGas”) storage facility above Porter Ranch. Congressman Sherman’s staff informally urged Governor Brown’s office to help persuade Governor Brown to make this decision last week, and sent a formal detailed letter earlier today.

“Governor Brown made the right call,” said Congressman Sherman. “By declaring a state of emergency, the Governor will now have the authority to direct SoCalGas to extract as much gas from the well as possible, and not limit that extraction based on how much SoCalGas can sell. The more gas extracted and incinerated, the less gas will leak into the environment and sicken residents.”

“It is my hope that under new authority we can stop this leak, or diminish its damage before the completion of a reserve well in February,” Sherman added.

The leak is releasing methane at a rate estimated at 110,000 pounds per hour. The noxious gas emanating from the leaking well has been sickening residents of the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, causing headaches, nose bleeds and dizziness. More than 2,000 Porter Ranch households have been forced to relocate, with 3,000 additional residents in the process of being relocated. The relief well, which is intended to intercept and kill the leaking well at some 8,000 feet below the ground, will not be complete until late February at the earliest.

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