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Using Aliso Canyon is about keeping Southern California safe during a heat wave

Using Aliso Canyon is about keeping Southern California safe during a heat wave
Crews work on a relief well at the Aliso Canyon facility above the Porter Ranch area of Los Angeles in December of 2015. (Dean Musgrove/Associated Press)

To the editor: This editorial misleadingly implies that I am blocking consideration of SB 57 and ignores my continued commitment to renewable energy and, above all else, the safety and well-being of consumers. ("Don't reopen Aliso Canyon until we know what caused the worst methane leak in history," editorial, March 23)

I do not oppose SB 57, which would prohibit the reinjection of gas into the Aliso Canyon facility until the completion of an independent study. The amendments that I (and not the Southern California Gas Co.) proposed reflect my concern for the health and safety of all Californians.

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State regulators say there is not enough gas to ensure the reliability of the electric grid in Southern California during extreme heat events. As history has tragically proved, blackouts during severe heat waves threaten health and can cost human lives. It would be irresponsible of the Legislature to fail to prevent such harmful outcomes.

SB 57 would neither "close" nor "reopen" Aliso Canyon. It's open and will remain open even if the bill is signed. The amendments would simply limit the amount of gas that can be injected or withdrawn, provided state regulators determine it is safe.

State Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego)

The writer is chairman of the Senate Energy Committee.

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