Super Tuesday For Aliso Canyon

At 9:30 AM on Tuesday the California Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee will examine whether So Cal Gas and state energy regulators rigged a report claiming there would be blackouts in LA if Aliso Canyon's natural gas storage stays off line.
The hearings have the potential to pull the curtain back on who really wrote the report (So Cal Gas?)  and whether the public was misled.  
What sparked the hearings are bogus assumptions uncovered by a Food and Water Watch analysis prepared by engineer Bill Powers and by a report in the Los Angeles Times, as well as a request from Consumer Watchdog (Cap Watchdog's publisher).
The public deserves to know:
•     Why did the report's modeling claiming there would be a blackout ignore the existence of another major natural gas storage facility Hono Rancho, even though the facility has the ability to replace Aliso?
•     Why did the report underestimate the firm capacity of natural gas delivery that So Cal Gas ratepayers contracted for by a factor of two in making the case for blackouts.
•     Why did the state action plan fail to take into consideration another natural gas storage facility, Playa Vista, as a source of natural gas to replace Aliso?
•     State regulators have said in meetings in the Capitol that Southern California Gas did the modeling and only the company can access the modeling. How can there be accountability if the company with a huge financial motive to keep Aliso open created the analysis justifying its existence? What did state regulators do to check So Cal Gas's math if this is true.
•    Did a So Cal Gas employee do the report's modeling? 
At stake, long term, is whether Aliso stays closed, protecting local residents. In the short term, also hanging in the balance is the signature of the Governor on legislation on his desk that will delay Aliso's reopening until wells are checked and an assessment report is issued: SB 380 by Senator Fran Pavely.
It's Super Tuesday for Aliso and will be a big test of the integrity of Energy Committee Chair Ben Hueso.  Hueso's been known to ask tough questions, but SEMPA, So Cal Gas's parent, also parent of San Diego Gas & Electric, rules Hueso's San Diego district and allegedly has huge influence over Hueso through its worker unions, including the IBEW.    
One sign of possible trouble for the community is the Committee refuses to allow Powers and critics of the report to have their own panel to testify.  That's a mistake given the technical nature of the issue. Some feel it's the setup for a government white wash of the Democratic Administration's report.
Tough questions that have already been aired cry out to be asked. This committee has a duty to ask them and, to date, the state's energy regulators have proven incapable of answering them.
Will the Senate Energy Committee have the technical expertise to nail down the details of the Southern California gas system? The future of Porter Ranch and the safety of its residents hang in the balance. 

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