- City News
- High School Sports
- Local Deals
Los Angeles – The Los Angeles City Council today adopted several of the recommendations in an audit of the City’s franchise agreement with Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) that will strengthen municipal oversight of the utility’s operations while bringing more revenue to the City. The recommendations were outlined in a September 2016 audit by Controller Ron Galperin’s office following a massive gas leak at the Aliso Canyon oil field in the northern San Fernando Valley.
In a unanimous vote, the Council adopted Galperin’s recommendations to:
“A City franchise is a privilege, and utilities granted that privilege must show responsibility to the public,” said Controller Galperin. “We should strengthen our franchise agreement with SoCalGas to ensure we’re doing everything we can when it comes to safety, as well as making sure we recoup our costs for any damage they cause to City streets.”
With SoCalGas’ current franchise agreement to distribute and sell natural gas within City limits expiring June 30, Galperin called for a new agreement to ensure accountability, effective monitoring, and the establishment of appropriate franchise fees. At the same time, the City’s ability to enforce safety and environmental regulations is limited by state law, which gives the California Public Utilities Commission responsibility for natural gas transmission and distribution.
Galperin’s September 2016 audit found that since the franchise agreement with SoCalGas was executed in 1992, the company has paid the City an average of $17.6 million per year, although those payments have fluctuated by as much as $6 million from one year to the next. The audit also found that the City was missing out on as much as $1.3 million a year in Street Damage Restoration Fees that other utilities pay when they cut and excavate into City streets.
Powered by Facebook Comments