California’s many leftists are steaming mad that five state officials appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom have approved the expansion of a gas storage field that he’d promised to shut down.
“My mind is just blown that we’re actually talking about this again,” Jane Fowler, a local left-wing activist, told the Los Angeles Times.
“We’re trying to get off fossil fuels for our future, for everyone’s future. Why would we be going backward? Why would we make ourselves more dependent on poison?” she added.
Perhaps because the so-called “poison” is efficient? In fairness, however, the Aliso Canyon gas storage field suffered a methane leak in 2015 that “prompted thousands of San Fernando Valley residents to evacuate their homes for months.”
Afterward, then-Lt. Gov. Newsom penned a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission president Marybel Batjer urging the committee to “immediately engage an independent third-party expert to identify viable alternatives to the facility.”
When running for the governorship years later, he further vowed that he’s “fully committed” to shutting down the field.
Yet despite this leak, despite Newsom’s promise, and despite massive pressure from locals, the commission voted 5-0 (unanimously) this week to expand the gas storage field.
Why? Because “they agreed with an analysis presented by SoCalGas — and endorsed by commission staff — finding that more fuel storage at Aliso could lead to lower gas and electricity costs for Southern California residents this winter,” according to the Times.
Alice Reynolds, the commission’s current president, defended the decision, saying it’s “not about using more natural gas or allowing the use of more natural gas.”
“She said her agency and others are working to reduce reliance on the fossil fuel, by distributing rebates for electric appliances, eliminating subsidies for new gas hookups and ordering utilities to buy more renewable electricity. But none of those steps have changed the reality that we still need gas,” the Times explained.
“We’re in a transition period. Frankly, we’re not there yet. And we face many challenges,” according to Reynolds.
From the sounds of it, Newsom also supports this decision. Indeed, Politico ran a report just last week warning how the governor has “embrace[d] dirty energy in a bid to stave off blackouts.”
“Newsom is grappling with the same nuts-and-bolts challenges of running the electric grid as other blue-state officials in New York as well as the Biden administration,” the left-wing news purveyor wrote in defense of him.
“The pivot reflects the awkward reality faced by Newsom and other climate-minded governors: Politics moves far faster than the building of solar fields, wind farms and transmission lines, while power blackouts and electric bill spikes hit home immediately,” the site added.
It sounds, in other words, like reality has finally slapped the governor in the face. Unfortunately for him, his leftist constituents don’t care about reality; they care about “fossil fuels” and “climate change.” As a result, they’re apoplectic at him.
Aliso Canyon endangers everyone who lives in a ten mile radius from this hazardous facility. With every quake, with every fire, we are at risk. Every day, the wells emit polytoxic chems. No wonder our cancer rate is up. Are you listening, @GavinNewsom? https://t.co/vlG6b7Y90I
Gavin would rather push restarting dangerous Diablo Canyon nukes, keeping ancient fossil fuel power plant relics like AES Redodno polluting and continuing the Aliso Canyon gas bomb threat to our health and safety. https://t.co/8Gy3kkSBuc
— Joe Galliani (@creativegreeniu) August 17, 2022
Residents of Porter Ranch — the neighborhood next to Aliso Canyon — and environmental groups say it’s now up to Governor Gavin Newsom to live up to his promises and use his authority to close the facility down. pic.twitter.com/Ako9URUCBa
— Anthony Victoria (@eyeofthebarrio) May 26, 2022
All this said, when asked where the governor currently stands, Newsom’s spokesperson said he “appreciates the [Public Utilities Commission’s] efforts to maintain affordable and reliable energy for ratepayers, and he continues to encourage the commission to expedite their work to permanently close the facility as part of California’s transition away from fossil fuels.”
And so he, for his part, is evidently sticking to his story of wanting to shut it down. Yet his lack of action isn’t going unnoticed.
“Gavin Newsom, Jerry Brown both said this place needs to be expedited, shut it down. And now SoCalGas wants to increase the gas. And the [California Public Utilities Commission] wants to increase the gas. What part of shut it down don’t they understand?” Save Porter Ranch co-founder Matt Pakucko told KCRW this week.
“I’ve seen so many bad things. I’m disappointed, and it’s difficult to have hopes. Nobody else is listening to us. I have tried everything. … That’s really heartbreaking,” Aliso Moms Alliance co-founder Helen Attai added.
How about trying to accept the reality that fossil fuels are here to stay …?
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