At a press conference ahead of the L.A. City Council ECCJR Committee meeting, over 100 community organizations and candidates for public office submitted a letter demanding council members divest from false solutions like biogas and invest in community-centered clean energy solutions. The letter, spearheaded by Food & Water Action, responded to the LA100 Study and its pathways to renewable energy that allow for biofuels and hydrogen plants — two ideas endorsed by the fossil fuel industry as they allow for the retention of dangerous natural gas infrastructure.
Rather than investing in false solutions, the letter urges the Council to double down on solutions which invest in local infrastructure, conserve energy, create good local jobs, and give ratepayers more control over their energy system, such as energy efficiency, smart thermostat programs, rooftop solar/battery and microgrids. A transition focused on benefiting communities would require LADWP to deeply partner with ratepayers and community organizations in making the public utility’s clean energy programs equitable and accessible, especially for those in disadvantaged communities.
“Over 100 organizations representing California’s everyday ratepayers have joined their voices to demand the City Council say no to false solutions like biogas,” said Food & Water Action Senior Organizer Jasmin Vargas. “These are the voices that must be central as we plan a pathway to 100 percent renewable energy for L.A. We already know we can get there by 2030 and we know we can do it without relying on false solutions that prop up fossil fuel infrastructure. All we need now is the political will of the City Council to help us get there.”
“The time is now to stop the destruction and right the wrongs,” said Tina Calderon, a Tongva and Chumash Elder, Educator and Owner of Sacred Ground TM. “The right to have healthy food, clean air and water, as well as affordable housing and thriving lands must be dealt with now.”
Among the false solutions touted by the fossil fuel industry is biogas, methane that is usually extracted from manure from factory farms. LADWP also has yet to rule out carbon capture, sequestration or other means for fossil fuel interests to purchase the right to keep on polluting.
“Dairy biogas has no place in a clean energy future that values environmental justice and equitable access to clean air, clean water, and livable communities,” said Aracely Garcia Gonzalez, policy advocate with Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability. “Increased demand for dairy biogas incentivizes the production and concentration of manure and cows, which means increased air pollution and water contamination in lower income communities of color in the San Joaquin Valley.”
“Just as we can no longer ignore the slow cooking of our planet, we can no longer ignore the disparate impact climate change is having on the communities of our city.” said Carolyn “Jiyoung” Park, an organizer with Ground Game LA and Progressive Asian Network for Action. “The move to clean energy must serve to empower communities and not force them out of our own neighborhoods that we’ve grown up in.”
“If all areas of our society move together to achieve it, we have the power to transition whole communities toward thriving economies that provide dignity of work and a living wage,” said Daniel Tamm, chair of the Interfaith Solidarity Network. “We say to LADWP: we want to partner with you. We are churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples. We want LADWP to be coming to our communities.”
“Climate justice is not limited to trees and conservation and reparative action and doesn’t end with flowery language. The climate justice movement is intersectional. It uplifts frontline workers in the fossil fuel industry, many of whom are Black and Brown.” said Josiah Edwards, a youth organizer with Sunrise Movement Los Angeles.”But how much are our lives worth to them, if they underfund initiatives that we called for, which would ensure a just transition?”
Contact: Jessica Gable, (202) 683-2478, [email protected]