No one would flip to tobacco corporations for health advice. We understand that they’ve an agenda that is inherently damaging for human health. So why then would Californians look to a fossil gasoline agency for choices to native climate change and the health and air air pollution impacts they themselves set off?
Those of us residing in communities that proceed to pay the worth for the state’s dependence on fossil fuels know larger than anyone who we’re capable of and cannot perception to develop good-faith choices to native climate change. High on the itemizing of these we cannot perception is the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).
For years, SoCalGas has labored to undermine California’s clear energy progress to keep up us tied to dirty gasoline by combating the zero-emission choices we wish. They fought the metropolis of Los Angeles as a result of it labored to undertake zero-emission buses which will clear up air air air pollution and fought legal guidelines that might reduce air air pollution from buildings. More recently they’ve been promoting flawed analysis, distributing mailers, and visiting native metropolis councils touting distorted information regarding the costs of electrical home house gear to discourage the rising repute of house gear powered by clear energy.
They even put collectively a entrance group known as Californians for Balanced Energy Solutions, with a mission to incite concern by the use of misinformation to discourage public help for clear, zero-emission choices.
For a few years SoCalGas has protected earnings above defending the health and well-being of Californians. So it’s no shock powerpoint obtained by the LA Times reveals the gasoline agency characterizing initiatives that decrease greenhouse gasoline emissions and clear up indoor air air air pollution as an “attack” on gasoline.
And they’ve a objective to be frightened – specialists and state companies all agree that we cannot meet our native climate targets if we proceed to burn gasoline in our properties and buildings. That’s important to recollect, as they launch the subsequent part of their plan to stall movement on zero-emission choices – a full-scale PR campaign to mannequin themselves as the (oxymoron alert) “cleanest natural gas utility” in North America.
Central to their current greenwashing is a reputation for big funding from the state to help substitute 20 p.c of their gasoline present with so-called “renewable” pure gasoline. Much of this renewable gasoline is biomethane, or methane that is captured from dairies, landfills, and wastewater treatment facilities. Not solely can these sources set off air and water air air pollution for native residents, nevertheless at best they’re going to solely present a tiny fraction of the complete gasoline demand in California. Getting to bigger ranges would require synthetically producing methane, a dangerously potent greenhouse gasoline, by means of dear, superior chemical processes – whereas doing nothing to reduce the air air pollution and health and safety risks that our communities already face from gasoline.In fast – it’s a decided attempt to maintain us hooked on gasoline as an alternative of investing in larger, safer, cleaner decisions.
Southern California’s air is out of compliance with EPA air prime quality necessities. We are affected by important respiratory illness and getting acknowledged with bronchial bronchial asthma and most cancers youthful and youthful. We face on the spot hazard from gasoline leaks and the long-term health impacts of having gasoline storage facilities, refineries, and important transmission traces decrease by means of our backyards. The additional we prop up gasoline combustion and its leaky, dangerous provide infrastructure, the a lot much less likely we’re to cope with the legacy air air pollution and safety factors which have plagued our communities.
We don’t have time for false choices from gasoline corporations. SoCalGas is spending a whole bunch of 1000’s of to masks their polluting practices, nevertheless their slick PR campaign shouldn’t be going to cease the subsequent explosion, leak, or hearth in our communities.
California ought to spend cash on zero-emissions choices that help the health and well-being of communities of shade and low-income communities, whereas shortly reducing greenhouse gasoline emissions. We cannot accept short-term and short-sighted choices that proceed the cycle of polluted air, unsafe residing and working conditions, and unjust health penalties.
Matt Vespa is an authorized skilled at EarthJustice. Taylor Thomas is a evaluation and protection analyst with East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, serving Los Angeles and Long Beach.