Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa July 1 pledged the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power would phase out coal power by 2020 to help cut the city\u2019s carbon emissions. \u201cOur . . . goal for the next four years is to put Los Angeles on a path to permanently break our addiction to coal,\u201d said Villaraigosa enumerating the priorities for his second mayorial term during his inaugural address. \u201cMoving forward, we\u2019re aiming to get 40 percent of our power from renewable sources by 2020 and 60 percent carbon-free by the end of the next decade.\u201d Villaraigosa said doing so would minimize \u201cexposure to higher fuel costs and forthcoming climate change regulation.\u201d Meanwhile, he said, the department is on course to make 20 percent of its power from wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources by 2020. The department estimates that more than 10 percent of its power comes from renewable energy. \u201cAntonio Villaraigosa is drinking too much fine wine,\u201d twittered Jack Humphreville, neighborhood council activist and member of the LADWP Oversight Committee, following the address. Humphreville, a critic of the rising cost of power for LADWP customers, questioned whether the 40 and 60 percent targets were realistic. Sierra Club cheered the mayor\u2019s goals. \u201cVillaraigosa\u2019s commitment to eliminate coal by 2020 creates an enormous economic development opportunity for the city,\u201d said Bill Corcoran, Sierra Club senior regional representative in Los Angeles. \u201cInstead of sending millions in ratepayer dollars every year to pay for coal plants in Utah and Arizona, we will invest that money here in Los Angeles and in California.\u201d He said that local investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy \u201ccan get off dirty coal while minimizing utility bill increases.\u201d LADWP draws coal power from two plants, the 1,800 MW Intermountain Power Project in Utah and the 2,250 MW Navajo Generating Station in Arizona. LADWP\u2019s contract for 21 percent of the power from Navajo expires in 2019. Its contract for almost 45 percent of the power from the Intermountain plant does not expire until 2027. Villaraigosa\u2019s goal raises the prospect that the department would have to curtail its interest in the plant ahead of schedule. Los Angeles deputy mayor S. David Freeman told reporters following the mayor\u2019s address that negotiations on early termination of the department\u2019s interest still lie ahead. Villaraigosa\u2019s announcement came after the LADWP budget plan for the new fiscal year, which started July 1, paved the way for potentially higher energy costs in the city as the muni more aggressively pursues renewable energy. However the budget did not project any potential increase would boost rates above those in neighboring Southern California Edison territory. According to California Energy Commission data, the average price of electricity in LADWP territory is 10.9 cents\/kWh. In Edison territory commission data show it is 15.3 cents\/kWh. * * * * In a move to cut greenhouse gas emissions and dampen peak demand, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power announced July 6 that is charging \u201cenergy conservation rates\u201d this summer. The three-tiered conservation rates levy higher prices on energy as usage increases. Under the pricing program, customers in hot inland areas can use a bit more energy before paying higher rates than those in the cooler coastal zone. The higher rates run through September. * * * * Meeting in Italy, the Group of Eight major industrial nations failed to reach any consensus with developing countries on greenhouse gas reduction goals and timetables. China and India balked at a proposal to cut global emissions 50 percent by 2050. The meeting came a few months ahead of a conference scheduled in Copenhagen where world leaders plan to consider a long-term climate change treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. In place of firm limits, the G-8 issued a statement saying it will work \u201cto identify a global goal for substantially reducing global emissions by 2050.\u201d * * * * The California Climate Action Team\u2019s public health work group met July 6 in an organizational meeting. The group is supposed to advise state agencies on how to assess the potential public health impacts of policies aimed at cutting greenhouse gases, including any unintended consequences. The group also is to identify ways to track the public health impacts of global warming and device strategies to adapt to climate change in order to protect health.