The city of Los Angeles, once mostly dependent on coal-fired power plants, will end its use of coal energy entirely within 12 years, according to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
“In a couple of weeks I will be signing agreements to get completely out of coal by 2025,” Villaraigosa said at an event at UCLA.
The mayor was speaking at an event sponsored by UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability entitled, "What a mayor can do to green a city."
The mayor’s announcement was greated with a “woah” by moderator Glen MacDonald and applause from a crowd of environmentalists, students and academics. “We’ll be out of Navajo, 2015. Intermountain looks like 2025,” Villaraigosa said. “It will be a big deal.”
About 39 percent of L.A.'s power comes from the two out-of-state coal plants now. The Navajo Generating Station in Arizona represents around a third of LA’s coal-fired power; the Intermountain Power Plant in Utah produces about two-thirds of that power, which along with natural gas remains cheaper than less-polluting renewable energy like geothermal, solar and wind power.
During his second inaugural address in 2009, Villariagosa announced plans for L.A. to eliminate coal from its energy portfolio by the year 2020. Subsequent shakeups at the top of the Department of Water and Power, a bruising political battle over a “carbon tax” and related energy rate increases slowed progress toward that goal.
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