California’s Natural Gas Storage Study Finds Facilities Can Be Safer, but Misses the Big Picture on Reliability

Statement from Timothy O’Connor, Director of the California Oil and Gas Program at EDF

January 18, 2018
Kelsey Robinson, (512) 691-3404,

The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) issued a new report that examines California’s reliance on natural gas storage facilities and their ability to be operated more safely. Although the report is a major milestone in the evaluation of California’s natural gas storage system and underscores the need for strong regulations to prevent and monitor for gas storage problems, the report sells short the value of policies that reduce the state’s heavy reliance on gas storage.As a result, the CCST report undervalues the range of options available to California for reducing the need for the massive natural gas storage facilities like Aliso Canyon.

“The 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak proved natural gas storage facilities can cause major health and environmental problems if they aren’t maintained correctly. While CCST finds that proper site-level regulation and oversight can control these risks, it fails to recognize we must address the fact that California is attached at the hip to massive gas storage facilities for maintaining reliability.

“Natural gas storage is not always the best option for consumers and the environment. California should pursue policies to change the energy system as a whole – creating better standards that facilitate transparency in energy markets with lower costs and higher reliability."

  • Timothy O’Connor, Director of the California Oil and Gas Program at Environmental Defense Fund

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