Earlier this month, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a settlement against Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) in connection with numerous unqualified environmental marketing claims made by the company in 2019, including remarks that natural gas is ‘renewable.’

The vast majority of natural gas—and a vast majority of the gas distributed by SoCalGas—is not renewable, but derived from fossil fuels. An investigation by the California Attorney General’s office revealed that SoCalGas made the misleading statements across a wide range of mediums, including print, electronic media, promotional swag and more.

“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,” Attorney General Bonta said in a press release.

Under the settlement, SoCalGas is prohibited from making similar unqualified statements that natural gas is ‘renewable’ and must publish a corrective statement on its website within 14 days of the settlements effective date. SoCalGas will also pay $175,000 in penalties, of which half will go to the California EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants Program.

"Truth in marketing matters, and it’s required under state law,” Bonta said. “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.”