Eric Garcetti Declares ‘Green New Deal’ in L.A., Cancels Natural Gas Plants; Officials Doubt ‘Keeping the Lights On’

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
By Paul Martin

11 Feb 2019

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared Monday that the city would abandon plans to rebuild three natural gas power plants, despite concerns that the city could face acute power shortages as a result.

Instead, the city will look for energy from renewable sources, including wind and solar, he decided.

“This is the Green New Deal … Not in concept, not in the future, but now,” Garcetti said, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times.

He made the decision despite the fact that “top staffers have argued in recent months that the gas plants are critical to keeping the lights on in the city,” the Times noted.

The term “Green New Deal” refers to a bill introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) last week, which proposes moving the entire U.S. economy to renewable energy in the next ten years. The plan also aims to provide every American with a guaranteed “job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people.”

The bill does not explain how those benefits will be paid for, nor how the renewable energy goals will be achieved, given that renewables currently provide less than 20% of the country’s energy.

Environmentalists are also opposed to using one of those renewable sources, hydroelectric power, because of concerns about environmental damage caused by dams.

California has a law already in place mandating a shift to 100% renewable sources — but by 2045, not 2030. It is not clear how the state will achieve that goal.

In his comments, Garcetti slammed natural gas as an energy source: “[N]ow is the time to start the beginning of the end of natural gas.”

Ironically, the switch from coal to natural gas over the past decade has enabled the U.S. economy to grow while reducing emissions over the long run. “More gas for electricity has been our most effective weapon at combating climate change,” wrote RealClearEnergy editor Jude Clemente last year.

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