Attorney General Bonta Secures Settlement Against SoCalGas Over Misleading Marketing Statements

Monday, August 14, 2023
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced a settlement against Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) in connection with numerous unqualified environmental marketing claims the company made in 2019 that natural gas is “renewable.” Such claims are misleading. The vast majority of natural gas — including a vast majority of the gas distributed by SoCalGas — is not renewable, but rather is derived from fossil fuels. An investigation by the California Attorney General’s office revealed that SoCalGas made the misleading statements in a wide range of mediums, such as print, electronic media, informative displays, backdrops, and promotional swag.

“SoCalGas is a large, sophisticated entity. While we appreciate its cooperation in our investigation, SoCalGas should have known better than to broadcast unqualified claims suggesting that all natural gas is ‘renewable.’ Truth in marketing matters, and it’s required under state law,” said Attorney General Bonta. "Today’s settlement should send a clear message: The California Department of Justice is committed to holding accountable corporations that mislead or deceive consumers about the environmental attributes of a product.”

Under the settlement — which resolves allegations that SoCalGas violated California’s consumer protection laws, including the Unfair Competition Law and the False Advertising Law — SoCalGas will: 

  • Be prohibited from making similar unqualified statements that natural gas is “renewable.”
  • Pay $175,000 in penalties, 50% ($87,500) of which will be directed to the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Small Grants Program to fund a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) focused on environmental justice.
  • Publish a corrective statement on its website within 14 days of the settlement’s effective date. 

A copy of the complaint and proposed judgment, which details the aforementioned settlement terms and remains subject to court approval, can be found here and here.

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