Oct 29 2020
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Nanette Barragán (both D-Calif.) today called on Southern California Gas Company to explain recent reports that it was undermining California’s climate change goals.
“According to an ongoing investigation by the California Public Utilities Commission’s Public Advocates Office, SoCalGas has engaged in a lobbying campaign to undermine the state’s clean energy goals,” the members wrote.
The members continued: “Taken together, these actions paint a clear and deeply concerning portrait of SoCalGas’ attempts to systematically undermine greenhouse gas reduction targets in California.”
Full text of the letter follows:
October 29, 2020
Chief Executive Officer
Southern California Gas Company
P.O. Box 1626
Monterey Park, CA 91754
Dear Mr. Drury,
We write to express our concern regarding recent reports that Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) has worked to undermine California’s transition away from fossil fuels as it attempts to meet aggressive climate change goals. We ask that you please respond to the attached questions in a timely manner.
Since SoCalGas is the largest natural gas utility in the country and supplies energy to nearly 22 million customers in California, it is critical that the company support our state’s efforts to address climate change and protect Californians. As you know, California is currently experiencing a series of historically devastating wildfires that have been exacerbated by climate change. Historically, the state would only now be entering its traditional wildfire season, yet we have already witnessed five of the six largest fires on record this year, and 31 Californians have died. These tragic events serve as a reminder that the state must continue to aggressively pursue reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
However, according to an ongoing investigation by the California Public Utilities Commission’s Public Advocates Office, SoCalGas has engaged in a lobbying campaign to undermine the state’s clean energy goals. According to documents related to the investigation, SoCalGas has:
- Formed a group named Californians for Balanced Energy Solutions using ratepayer money to advocate for increased natural gas use without clearly communicating its relationship with SoCalGas.
- Lobbied against the zero-emission vehicle mandate for drayage trucks and other vehicles in the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan of 2017.
- Lobbied against increased efficiency standards for home furnaces.
- Failed to comply with the Public Advocates Office’s discovery requests regarding additional documents related to the investigation.
Taken together, these actions paint a clear and deeply concerning portrait of SoCalGas’ attempts to systematically undermine greenhouse gas reduction targets in California. As Californians, we must work together in the face of catastrophic climate change or else we will continue to endure year after year of increasingly devastating wildfires, floods and other impacts of climate change.
Thank you for your attention to this request, and we look forward to your responses to the attached questions. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
United States Senator
United States Representative
Enclosure: Questions for SoCalGas
- What is the relationship between SoCalGas and Californians for Balanced Energy Solutions? Please provide a list of all donations SoCalGas has made, including the dates and amounts of each donation.
- To date, how much has SoCalGas invested to limit the release of greenhouse gases, including methane detection and prevention equipment?
- Given that SoCalGas clearly states its support for meeting the goals of SB100 (100% clean energy by 2045), please provide additional context for the utility’s lawsuit against California over its Advanced Clean Trucks regulation?
- What is your action plan towards achieving your goal of 100% clean energy by 2045 and what are your interim plans to reduce emissions?