For Immediate Release—February 26, 2019
Los Angeles—Inspired by Mayor Garcetti’s recent decision to scrap plans to rebuild three gas power plants, environmental groups and their supporters today called on the mayor and the City Council to go further, by transitioning Los Angeles to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2030. About 40 advocates rallied at City Hall to pressure the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to speed up efforts to move the city off polluting fossil fuels. The department is currently studying a transition to renewable energy by 2045, but environmental advocates and community members — recognizing the urgency of the climate crisis — demand a 2030 deadline for clean, renewable energy with an equitable and just transition for workers and communities.
“We stood with Mayor Garcetti when he announced his decision to scrap the rebuilding of LADWP’s in-basin gas plants, and we will be there when the mayor and the city start implementing a fair and just transition to 100 percent renewable energy,” said Jasmin Vargas, Senior Organizer with Food & Water Watch. “We, the people, are the solution to the climate crisis and we must guarantee that displaced oil and gas workers and members of communities hardest hit by pollution get priority when creating new, clean energy jobs.”
Advocates were joined in a press conference on the steps of City Hall by Councilmember Mike Bonin, who is a long-time champion of renewable energy.
“We are out of time. We need to start putting the New Green Deal into action — and that is what Los Angeles is doing,” said Councilmember Bonin. “By rapidly transitioning to truly clean and renewable energy resources, we can end the use of dirty and dangerous fossil fuels, as well as create good jobs, a thriving economy, and a more equitable society. I am very proud to stand with activists and climate revolutionaries from throughout L.A. to work for a better future.”
Brenda Gutierrez of the American Indian Movement SoCal echoed the urgency of moving California’s largest city onto clean energy.
“We have less than 12 years to bring solutions for the worst of the climate crisis,” said Gutierrez referring to the timeframe recommended by scientists in a United Nations report last year. “For this we need actions, not words. We need community involvement, not apathy. Most of all, we need bold decisions by our elected officials that pave the way for 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2030.”
For many, the need for urgent action is deeply personal. Parents, like Tudor Popescu of Protect Playa Now! and Indivisible 43, feel compelled to speak out because they fear for their children’s future.
“My wife was pregnant with our son when we saw the glow and smelled the smoke from the climate change-fueled fires in Malibu and along the 405,” said Popescu. "I owe it to my son to do everything I can to make sure our city uses proven green technology and makes a just transition from fossil fuels to 100 percent clean renewable energy.”
Many young people, like Natalie Rotstein of the Sunrise Movement Los Angeles are frustrated with what they see as slow, ineffective steps to curb climate change.
“Young people are organizing because we are terrified,” said Rotstein. “We are done watching politicians do nothing as our dreams of the future turn to nightmares. Going to 100 percent renewables by 2030 in Los Angeles isn’t a political decision, it’s a moral one. Mayor Garcetti: will you continue to act to protect the things we love, or wait until it’s too late?”
In 2016, the Los Angeles City Council passed a motion requiring LADWP to study a 100 percent renewable energy future. In early 2018, Food & Water Watch released a study by Synapse Energy Economics showing that Los Angeles could stop rebuilding gas plants and transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 for less money than continuing to rely on fossil fuels. The study recommended that LADWP invest in energy efficiency, demand response, battery storage and promote local solar installations.
The current proposals under consideration by LADWP include various timelines and energy mixes. Food & Water Watch opposes any scenario that would continue burning fossil fuels or rely on nuclear energy, biomass, biogas or renewable energy credits (RECs) to meet renewable energy goals.
Jasmin Vargas, 323-807-3234, [email protected]
Julie Light, 510-992-4083, [email protected]
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.