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L.A. to be off coal by 2025

L.A. to be off coal by 2025
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Glen MacDonald and David Miller speak after the U.C.L.A. symposium

The city of Los Angeles will be off coal by 2025, said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

“In a couple of weeks, I will sing an agreement to take the city off coal by 2025,” said Mr. Villaraigosa during a symposium on February 26 at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Upon re-election on July 2009, Mr. Villaraigosa announced plans to put L.A. on a path to break its love affair with coal. L.A. aims to get 40 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020.

Over public radio 89.3 KPCC, the Mayor stated that the city would no longer be utilizing power from two-out of-state coal plants within the next few years.

About 39 percent of L.A.’s power comes from the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona and the Intermountain Power Plant in Utah.

“We’ll be out of Navajo, 2013. Intermountain looks like 2025,” said Mr. Villaraigosa.

In 2009, Mr. Villaraigos initially announced that L.A. would eliminate coal from its energy mix by 2020, five years before the new goal of 2025. However, problems with the Department of Water and Power management and issues regarding carbon taxes and energy rate increases have slowed the progress.

Mayors’ role in green cities

Mr. Villaraigosa and former Toronto Mayor David Miller were guests on a panel that kicked off a symposium, “Urban Sustainability in North American Cities,” hosted by U.C.L.A.’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

More and more, cities instead of countries are taking the lead in addressing climate change, noted Glen MacDonald, director of the IoES during the symposium.

“Cities are pushing the state and national agendas in this area,” he added.

According to Mr. MacDonald, mayors like Mr. Antonio and Mr. Miller have shown that they can take the lead in how a city can confront sustainability challenges.

Mr. Miller told the forum that it’s the ability to link the environment and the economy that will allow sustainability efforts in a city to succeed.

“We’re not going to achieve our environmental sustainability goals unless we achieve our economic goals and social justice goals,” said Mr. Miller. – EcoSeed Staff

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