Assemblymember Miguel Santiago and a Bipartisan Coalition Call on the California Public Utilities Commission to Vote No on a Proposed Moratorium on New Natural Gas Connections in Los Angeles County
SACRAMENTO – Today Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), along with a bipartisan coalition of other legislators released a joint letter calling on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to vote no on the commission’s proposed moratorium on new natural gas service connections in Los Angeles County.
In December of last year, the CPUC proposed the moratorium for commercial and industrial customers in Los Angeles County due to concerns with energy reliability in the county for the winter season. Under this new ruling, hundreds of businesses currently under construction, from affordable housing projects and hospitals to universities, restaurants, and other small businesses, will unexpectedly not be able to get natural gas service this winter.
“I’ve heard loud and clear from my constituents and people across California that this decision by the CPUC has real life-changing ramifications. There are small businesses that won’t be able to proceed with development and homes that will now have construction halted – in the middle of an established housing crisis in our state” said Assemblymember Santiago. “AB 1879 sends a clear message to the CPUC and others that we need to pause for a moment on this issue, and be deliberate and thoughtful about how we proceed with California’s energy resources and infrastructure.”
This bipartisan coalition joins with local businesses led by the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed), whose grassroots coalition urged the CPUC to vote against the proposal in consideration of the dire effects this proposed moratorium would have on the local economy. BizFed submitted a letter from more than 150 Los Angeles County businesses opposing the measure.
“For many businesses, natural gas is the only viable and affordable option for energy, especially for restaurants and manufacturers,” said Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, a BizFed member organization representing many of the businesses impacted by the proposal. “San Fernando Valley businesses provide good paying jobs, help boost our economy, and depend on natural gas to conduct their daily operations. Preventing new gas connections would discourage business owners from expanding and opening up new locations for their business in the Valley.”
Last month, Assemblymember Santiago introduced Assembly Bill 1879, co-authored by Assemblymember Blanca Rubio (D – Baldwin Park), that would prevent the CPUC from issuing moratoriums on gas corporations providing new natural gas service connections.
The CPUC is expected to vote on the proposed moratorium on Thursday, Feb. 8.
Media Availability: To set up an interview with Assemblymember Santiago, please contact Jackie Koenig at 916-319-2053. To set up an interview with a BizFed representative, please contact Sarah Wiltfong at 310-213-8742.
Assemblymember Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly’s Communications and Conveyance Committee. He represents the 53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.
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