LA City Council Members Opt For Recess Instead of Climate Action

Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice and Rivers Committee cancels fifth opportunity to discuss LA100 clean energy motion since March 24


Climate and Energy

For Immediate Release

Los Angeles, CA — Today marks the fifth Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice and Rivers (EECJR) Committee meeting to be cancelled since the LA100 Study, a roadmap for transitioning Los Angeles’s energy grid to 100% renewables, was released on March 24. Since that date, the committee responsible for discussing critical issues on climate, environment, and the communities impacted has met only twice despite the historic megadrought, heatwaves and fires facing Los Angeles this summer. Committee Chair Mitch O’Farrell cancelled the meeting just before the Council’s July recess, ensuring the LA100 motion will not be heard before August. 

“Today, Angelenos could have seen a path forward to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030,” said Jasmin Vargas, senior organizer with Food & Water Watch. “We could have celebrated savings for ratepayers, freedom from fossil fuels, and local energy accessible to all of our communities. The ECCEJR committee has only met twice since the LA100 study was released. Today could have been a turning point. Now it’s just one more day in the worst mega-drought and most dangerous wildfire season the state has ever seen.”

Scenarios drawn from the LA100 Study leave room for false solutions like biogas and hydrogen, while failing to empower communities in their clean energy journey. In response to these gaps in the study’s scenarios, Climate Justice groups will offer an amendment after the July recess to keep L.A.’s communities at the center of the motion for 100 percent clean energy.

“We’re heading into another summer of dangerous, record-breaking temperatures and smog-filled skies, but rather than taking action, the L.A. City Council is taking off,” said Sierra Club My Generation California Deputy, Carlo De La Cruz. “The L.A. City Council has the power to set LA on its path to 100 percent renewable energy to improve our air quality, create green new jobs, and reduce hospital visits and personal health care costs, but all we see is delay after delay. Angelenos can’t wait in dangerous weather for City Council members to take action and release a plan that lays out how L.A. will achieve its clean air and climate goals. Shame on the City Council for failing the city once again.”

“This egregious move is a slap on the face for every Angeleno,” said Rachel Smith, Partnerships Lead with Sunrise Movement LA. “We have no time to continue putting these meetings off. While Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell goes on his summer vacation, the marginalized communities directly affected by their lack of action will continue to suffer. This is a human rights issue; we are experiencing extreme heat and droughts like never before and they will only get worse. Councilmember O’Farrell had an opportunity to embrace what we know is coming and work with urgency to create a liveable future with 100 percent renewables. Instead, he chose to ignore the plight of his constituents. We need action and we need it now.”

Only one week ago as LADWP announced its Racial Equity Plan and Equity Steering committee for the LA100 process, the utility also initiated its Strategic Long Term Resource Plan (SLTRP), a process that hinges on the City Council’s planned motion to get L.A. to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.

Contact: Jessica Gable, [email protected], (202) 683-2478