Methane progress in California

We’re designing local solutions to improve science and reduce pollution

In 2015 a massive blow out from a natural gas storage well near Los Angeles highlighted major problems with state and federal natural gas policies.

Learning from Aliso Canyon

Risks to health and climate

Immediately after the leak began, hundreds of neighboring residents experienced nausea, headaches, and other health problems. Thousands of families were forced to evacuate their homes as more than 100,000 tons of methane pollution and other harmful gases were released into the air. Many called the gas leak one of the worst environmental disasters in recent history.

Risks to energy reliability

The Aliso Canyon facility had been viewed as a strategic part of the state's gas and electric system. The shutdown of the site in response to the leak revealed important concerns about energy reliability that require action.

Aliso Canyon leak: Estimated impact


metric tons of methane, a powerful climate pollutant, are estimated to have leaked between Oct. 23 and Feb. 11.

That's the same as:

Leaked methane: Estimated impact


metric tons of methane, a powerful climate pollutant, are estimated to have leaked between Oct. 23 and Feb. 11.

That's the same as:



metric tons of carbon dioxide released



gallons of gasoline burned



dollars worth of natural gas wasted

Stepping up in California

Securing emission standards

Until the Aliso Canyon gas leak, the industry's methane emissions had barely been on the radar of many California policymakers – even though the oil and gas industry is the largest industrial source of methane pollution across the country. These methane leaks are often accompanied by other harmful pollutants, like benzene.

After the gas leak, we worked with the California Air Resources Board to implement the nation's strongest standards to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas sites.

We also worked with the California Public Utilities Commission to reduce gas leaks from pipelines. These new policies will limit climate pollution and deliver more gas to customers.

Stronger well integrity standards

Aliso Canyon revealed the importance of rigorous well construction and maintenance standards to prevent a catastrophe. We are working to improve well integrity standards both in California and across the country.

Better alignment between energy markets

Preventing energy shortages in a disaster is crucial, and so is ensuring California's energy system can meet the long term demands as more renewable energy comes on-line. A few simple fixes accompanied by larger market signals could increase energy reliability, protect consumers and reduce pollution.

We're working with stakeholders in California and across the country to diversify our energy portfolio, increase energy system efficiency, and make energy markets more competitive.

Increasing access to real-time pollution data

In 2017, the California Air Resource Board started requiring storage facilities like Aliso Canyon to install real-time air quality monitors as a precaution against future pollution episodes.

We're engaging with community groups, companies and local agencies to deliver real-time oil and gas pollution data to the public. We're also initiating multi-dimensional air quality studies in California to find pollution hot-spots in order to develop strategies to reduce them.