Even before Southern California Gas Co. plugged the damaged storage well blamed for the worst methane leak in U.S. history, its executives promised to fully offset the emissions released during the break. It was a big commitment that the utility's leaders said proved the company was a good neighbor and responsible corporate citizen.
Gov. Jerry Brown attempted to hold SoCal Gas to its word with an emergency proclamation in January. He directed regulators to develop a program, to be funded by the utility, that would cut greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Now that the California Air Resources Board has prepared that program, however, the utility has balked.