The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously on Friday to switch to 100% renewable energy as soon as possible. The action by the Council directs the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to develop a plan for deriving 100% of the electricity the city uses fromrenewable sources. The directive specifies that LADWP should examine where, when, and how the city should allocate resources to achieve that goal.
The motion before the Council was drafted by members Paul Krekorian and Mike Bonin. The motion included language saying “the city has an opportunity to re-create its utility in a way that recognizes the potential for a fossil free future, demonstrates global leadership in its commitment to clean energy, and protects ratepayers from the increasing costs of carbon-based fuels.”
Krekorian told the council the commitment to renewable energy is equivalent to the city’s successful efforts to reduce smog at the end of the last century. “During the summer, we would have to curtail outdoor activities because of secondhand smog alerts. It is really noteworthy that we have made a lot of progress by then,” Krekorian said.
He also praised Los Angeles’ efforts so far to combat climate change. Those efforts include switching to LED lighting, cleaning up the Port of Los Angeles, expanding electric vehicle use, investing in efficiency, and committing to eliminating the use of coal for electricity by 2025.
“Those were all great steps, but the biggest, boldest, most important thing this city can do to improve local air quality and reduce our carbon footprint… is to entirely eliminate fossil fuels as a source of electricity generation in this city,” he said. “What this motion does is set this city on a path not just towards setting that goal but toward achieving that goal,” he added.
Councilman Bonin added that addressing climate change is an urgent issue. “Global warming is happening at such a rapid rate — and I represent coastal areas. Part of my district will be underwater by the end of the century” if we do not reduce greenhouse gas emissions, he said.
Now if only we could substitute the Los Angeles City Council for the group of clueless know-nothings in the US Congress who would rather sell their country down the river for a few more sheckels from fossil fuel interests, we might actually have a chance of mitigating the worst effects of climate change on the nation.