The California Public Utilities Commission has postponed for a second time voting on a proposed temporary moratorium on new natural gas hookups in Los Angeles County.
The commission will take up the matter again at its March meeting to take place in Huntington Park. The state body was originally to vote on the measure in January, which would have ordered Southern California Gas Co. to put the mortarium in place until March 31.
The moratorium was opposed by business organizations, including the Valley Industry and Commerce Association in Van Nuys, and the Los Angeles County Business Federation, or BizFed. The groups said a moratorium would negatively affect employment and harm business operations.
The logic behind the moratorium is that the supply of natural gas in Southern California is constrained by problems at SoCal Gas’s Aliso Canyon facility in Porter Ranch. Limiting new draws on the existing supply of natural gas, especially during the peak winter months, would ensure service for current customers.
VICA President Stuart Waldman commended the commission for listening to the business community’s concerns and delaying what he called “a flawed proposal.”
“In the San Fernando Valley and throughout Southern California, businesses rely on natural gas as an energy alternative that has proven to be affordable, safe, reliable and efficient,” Waldman said in a prepared statement. “Preventing new gas connections would add to the red tape and regulations that make doing business in Los Angeles and across the state increasingly unprofitable.”