City May Require LADWP to Cut Carbon 80%

By Published On: July 3, 2014

The nation’s largest municipal utility, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, would have to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2030 under a proposal Los Angeles city councilmember Paul Koretz introduced June 27. “The climate crisis is no longer out there. It’s here. It’s now and the extreme weather events are costing communities billions of dollars in damages,” said Koretz. “With our international community stuck on the issue, cities need to step up.” Koretz’s motion also would require the city of Los Angeles—separate from the utility—to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. Koretz made the motion after the council approved a resolution backing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to reduce greenhouse gases from the nation’s power industry 30 percent by 2030 (Current, June 5, 2014). The muni’s plan to end its reliance on out-of-state coal power plants in favor of cleaner sources of energy by 2025 is expected to reduce the department’s power-related carbon emissions by 60 percent. “The [Department] is almost all the way there,” Koretz said at a news conference on his motion. “We just want to give them a nudge to get all the way there.” Under his plan, endorsed by the Sierra Club, the Los Angeles Business Council, and other groups, the muni would install more rooftop solar energy systems to make power and heat water, as well as step up its energy efficiency efforts. Business Council president Mary Leslie said the motion would create jobs in Los Angeles by helping to scale up the city’s green business sector. The council referred Koretz’s motion for review to its energy and environment committee and another panel dealing with tourism and commerce. If the council ultimately approves it, the utility would have 90 days to outline a plan for achieving the emissions reductions.

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