Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer (both D-Calif.) today praised President Obama for committing to create a multi-agency task force led by the Energy Department to investigate the cause and effects of gas leaks like the one at Aliso Canyon, and the steps needed to protect other communities nationwide.
Senators Feinsten and Boxer sent a letter to President Obama last week urging him to create a task force.
"The federal government has a responsibility to make sure nothing like the leak at Aliso Canyon ever happens again, which is why the president's announcement of a task force-which will bring together top government experts to explore the cause of and response to the leak-is an important, much-needed step," Senator Feinstein said. "In my view, the facility should be shut down, and it's my hope the task force comes to the same conclusion. It's imperative to protect the health and safety of local residents, and having this facility so close to a subdivision is simply too dangerous."
"I am gratified that President Obama understands that we must make sure that what happened in Aliso Canyon never happens again and the task force he has appointed will report back in six months on how to do just that," Senator Boxer said. "I have been assured by Secretary Moniz, whom I spoke with yesterday, that the task force will work with State and Local officials to resolve all outstanding issues, including whether Aliso Canyon can operate safely in the future, in order to protect our people and our planet."
The Senators previously sponsored an amendment that would have established an Aliso Canyon task force, which unanimously passed the Senate as part of the SAFE PIPES Act in early March and was also included in the Energy Policy Modernization Act in February - but that bill is still awaiting final Senate approval.
Feinstein and Boxer announced the introduction of their Aliso Canyon amendment in January.