Bob Wright introduced our speaker this day as our beloved past La Quinta Rotary Member Deborah McGarrey.  Deborah is the Public Affairs Manager for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), is responsible for all external public affairs as it relates to SoCalGas in the Morongo Valley, Eastern Riverside and Imperial Counties. Her main responsibility is the liaison between SoCalGas and the municipalities they serve in the community. She has over 20 years of Public Affairs experiences and serves on many nonprofit boards and committees within the Coachella and Imperial Valleys. She was the recipient of the 2004 Athena Award from the City of Palm Desert.
The Southern California Gas Company has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years. It is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 20.5 million consumers through 5.7 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company’s service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles in diverse terrain throughout Central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border.  The Gas Company is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE). Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company.  [Courtesy Dr. Bruce]
Deborah made an excellent presentation on “A balanced energy approach that can work for everyone: Making California’s Future Renewable.” It turns out that the state of California is pushing legislation that in the not so near future will require that the entire State be “all electric” with 100% of that energy coming from renewable energy sources.  Currently 40% of the State’s energy is generated from Natural Gas which is not normally considered a renewable resource in the way solar, wind or hydroelectric are considered “renewable”.  Deborah shared a power point presentation with us and several very interesting facts and statistics regarding natural gas and Californian’s preference to use it.  In addition she pointed out the reality of the State’s need for natural gas to balance out and maintain reliable sources of energy from the current “renewable sources”.  Without natural gas it is estimated that three TRILLION dollars in battery storage alone would be required to store enough solar power to meet the state’s current needs!  Deborah also shared with us how SoCalGas is working with 12 dairy farms in an attempt to utilize the Aerobic Digestive Systems of over 250,000 cows to generate naturally produced methane gas… and creating a truly renewable source of natural gas for the future.