Sat. Aug 13th, 2022

oil rigs at the inglewood oil field at night

Los Angeles residents will vote in crucial local elections on June 7, 2022, yet many candidates have failed to take positions on key environmental positions. Without clean air and water, our planet is not livable, and when climate change is out of control, so are storms and wildfires.

Knock LA therefore asked candidates in five contested state and county races in the San Fernando Valley and Westside for their stances on four crucial environmental topics: banning gas hookups in new buildings; subsidies for climate-friendly building appliances; closing the Aliso Canyon and Playa del Rey gas storage sites; and requiring 2,500-foot setbacks from oil and gas facilities.

The combustion of gas, often used to heat homes or power cooking stoves, emits a significant amount of planet-warming gases like methane and carbon dioxide, in addition to other pollutants associated with negative respiratory health effects. Alternatives such as electric heat pumps and induction stoves remove the need for gas, operating instead on an electric grid increasingly powered by renewable energy.

While over 50 California cities and counties have now banned gas hookups in new buildings, statewide action has lagged. Efforts to pass setbacks between oil and gas facilities and vulnerable communities failed to pass the state legislature in 2021 due to state Senator Bob Hertzberg and other senators. A measure to close the Aliso Canyon gas storage facilities is currently being considered in the state Legislature. Read about local candidates’ positions on these key issues below.


Supervisorial District 3 (includes SFV, West LA to West Hollywood):

1. Are you in favor of a ban on gas hookups in new buildings?

Lindsey Horvath: Yes.

Henry Stern: Yes.

Bob Hertzberg: [No response]

Craig Brill: No.

2. Are you in favor of subsidies given to individuals and companies to replace gas appliances with fuel pumps, induction stoves, and other appliances that do not use methane?

Lindsey Horvath: Yes

Henry Stern: Yes

Bob Hertzberg: [No response]

Craig Brill: No, natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel that has allowed us to reduce our carbon emissions. Our reliance on solar and wind do not produce enough energy, so we are now relying on imported power from dirty diesel. We must move to new nuclear technology. It is the only 100% carbon-free stable and cheap energy. Energy like water is life.

3. Are you in favor of closing gas storage facilities such as the Aliso Canyon and Playa del Rey gas storage sites (and using pipelines from out-of-state sources until they’re no longer needed)?

Lindsey Horvath: Yes.

Henry Stern: Yes.

Bob Hertzberg: [No response]

Craig Brill: I favor closure of Aliso Canyon – it should be relocated away from residential areas and groundwater storage. I do not support importing through pipelines from other states or countries. This will raise costs for Californians and disproportionately hurt the poor and middle class.

4. Are you in favor of 2,500-foot setbacks between oil and gas facilities (production, storage) and communities (homes, schools, parks)?

Lindsey Horvath: Yes

Henry Stern: Yes

Bob Hertzberg: [No response]

Craig Brill: Yes

Other candidates for this office not responding: Jeffi Girgenti, Roxanne Hoge


Candidates for State Senate SD 20 (includes Van Nuys, Granada Hills, Sylmar, Tujunga, Reseda):

1. Are you in favor of a ban on gas hookups in new buildings?

Caroline Menjivar: Yes, I believe all our new commercial and residential buildings should be created in a sustainable way with clean energy.

Daniel Hertzberg: [No response]

Seydi Alejandra Morales: Yes. I am in favor of utilizing our new technology, including renewable energy technology, to create more sustainable housing within our communities. We now have technology that can achieve the same output we get now that is significantly more efficient but does not harm the environment. Additionally, in implementing these new technologies ensuring the creation and / or transition of jobs within the renewable energy space.

2. Are you in favor of subsidies given to individuals and companies to replace gas appliances with fuel pumps, induction stoves, and other appliances that do not use methane?

Caroline Menjivar: Yes. We should also be retrofitting our buildings with equipment that is clean-energy. Old, broken Air conditioners should be replaced with heat pumps. Property owners of multi-family dwellings should be given incentives and subsidies for bringing solar to their buildings and transferring savings to tenants’ utility bills. We should be focusing on incentivizing individuals who are doing their part to remove ourselves from a fossil fuel dependency. We can not simply focus on the supply portion of fossil fuels, but also [must] talk about decreasing the demand side of the story.

Daniel Hertzberg: [No response]

Seydi Alejandra Morales: Yes. Utilizing subsidies to help our communities become more sustainable is a good use of California’s surplus funds. Allowing for these subsidies will decrease toxic materials… emitting into our environment, which in turn will have longer-lasting positive effects [on] our health and environment. More importantly, I would support and push for policy that replaces gas appliances, but this must also be done in conjunction with other sustainable sources of production that will power those appliances with sustainable renewable energy that is affordable for all members of the communities.

3. Are you in favor of closing gas storage facilities such as the Aliso Canyon and Playa del Rey gas storage sites (and using pipelines from out-of-state sources until they’re no longer needed)?

Caroline Menjivar: Yes. I am excited to see Senator Stern’s bill calling for the [shutdown] of Aliso Canyon, a facility that is directly impacting the community I am looking to represent.

Daniel Hertzberg: [No response]

Seydi Alejandra Morales: Yes. I believe attention must be given, especially to frontline communities in identifying immediate need for environmental equity and health access provision. Particularly as it relates to the contamination in the ambient air and water table.

4. Are you in favor of 2,500-foot setbacks between oil and gas facilities (production, storage) and communities (homes, schools, parks)?

Caroline Menjivar: Yes, at least, this is what we need to do, until we end our dependency on fossil fuels.

Daniel Hertzberg: [No response]

Seydi Alejandra Morales: Yes. If oil and gas facilities are necessary, I am in support of placing these facilities in areas that are a safe distance from communities, where they will not immediately and directly impact people within close proximity of these facilities. Further, I support the creation of a holistic manner of building and / or structuring an organic plan to begin remediation practices and changes that will clean up contaminated lands in order to be able to use that land in some other, more useful manner that better serves the communities.

Other candidates for this office not responding are: Ely De La Cruz Ayao


Candidates for Assembly AD 40 (including Santa Clarita, Chatsworth, Porter Ranch, Northridge, Granada Hills):

None of the candidates for this office responded (Pilar Schiavo, Suzette Martinez Valladares, Annie E. Cho)


Candidates for Assembly AD 44 (includes Glendale, Tujunga, Shadow Hills):

1. Are you in favor of a ban on gas hookups in new buildings?

Laura Friedman: Yes. My bill AB3232 is one of the key measures that has begun this process in California.

Barry Jacobsen: No.

2. Are you in favor of subsidies given to individuals and companies to replace gas appliances with fuel pumps, induction stoves, and other appliances that do not use methane?

Laura Friedman: Yes. I recently installed an induction stove at home and absolutely love it!

Barry Jacobsen: No.

3. Are you in favor of closing gas storage facilities such as the Aliso Canyon and Playa del Rey gas storage sites (and using pipelines from out-of-state sources until they’re no longer needed)?

Laura Friedman: Yes and no. I have been a vocal opponent of the Aliso Canyon facility, however, as we work to eliminate the use of fossil fuels in California, we need to evaluate the entire environmental impacts of where we get our gas so that we are choosing the least environmentally damaging option. If closing a specific site forces us to use pipelines that actually generate more net carbon emissions, or leave negative impacts on disadvantaged communities, then we would need to consider those factors prior to making that decision. We should always look where we are doing the least harm.

Barry Jacobsen: No.

4. Are you in favor of 2,500-foot setbacks between oil and gas facilities (production, storage) and communities (homes, schools, parks)?

Laura Friedman: Yes.

Barry Jacobsen: [I] would need to look further into this suggestion, including the cost implications to the companies and tax payers (if any).


Candidates for Assembly AD 46 (Includes Van Nuys, Granada Hills, Reseda):

None of the candidates for this office responded (Dana Caruso and Jesse Gabriel)


Candidates for Assembly AD 51 (includes West LA, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Hollywood):

1. Are you in favor of a ban on gas hookups in new buildings?

Louis Abramson: Yes.

Rick Chavez Zbur: [No response]

2. Are you in favor of subsidies given to individuals and companies to replace gas appliances with fuel pumps, induction stoves, and other appliances that do not use methane?

Louis Abramson: Yes.

Rick Chavez Zbur: [No response]

3. Are you in favor of closing gas storage facilities such as the Aliso Canyon and Playa del Rey gas storage sites (and using pipelines from out-of-state sources until they’re no longer needed)?

Louis Abramson: Yes.

Rick Chavez Zbur: [No response]

4. Are you in favor of 2,500-foot setbacks between oil and gas facilities (production, storage) and communities (homes, schools, parks)?

Louis Abramson: Yes – I also support Gov. Newsom’s proposal to extend that to 3200 feet.

Rick Chavez Zbur: [No response]

Knock LA is a journalism project paid for by Ground Game LA. This article was not authorized or paid for by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.

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