At 9am on Tuesday morning this week I stood with Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, members of the L.A. City Council, board members of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Commission and long term colleagues from the climate justice action community to be part of a historic announcement.
Just like in the movies, days of rain suddenly ended as if Moses had parted the Atmospheric River, and the California sunshine spotlighted our snow-kissed mountains in high def.
Only two days earlier I had been at a meeting to plan our response and action if Garcetti were to choose to repower the plants to burn more gas for the next 30-40 years.
But then on Monday afternoon word started to stream through that the Mayor was embracing the Green New Deal for Los Angeles and would announce there would be no gas repower. Garcetti was ready for clean power NOW.
What was to be a protest rally and action suddenly turned into a green victory celebration. Instead of being there as opponents, the Mayor invited environmentalists to stand with him in support.
Green groups like Communities For A Better Environment, Food & Water Watch and Sierra Club had worked for this critical win for many year and it was beautiful to be there to see their leaders gobsmacked by the great news.
And then, in answer to a question asking if he was also calling for the shutdown of the failed Aliso Canyon gas storage facility Mayor Garcetti said:
More great news for people who like to breathe and not get sick.
And even bigger news when you extrapolate the logical progression of Garcetti’s thinking, because this means the leaking and dangerous Playa Del Rey gas storage facility must be phased out too. Especially since the Scattergood plant it serves will no longer be using gas.
And especially because, unlike Aliso Canyon, Playa Del Rey is actually part of the City of L.A. and under the Mayor’s jurisdiction.
Playa Del Rey’s other big customer is Chevron. And because I completely agree with Mayor Garcetti that –
“The risks are so high that it’s time for us to ween ourselves off carbon-based energy. Period.”
– this means that mega-polluting, constantly climate-killing, fossil fuel Chevron must go too.
Chevron, one of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters, has been regularly fined for dumping toxic waste into the air we breathe.
Chevron has been lying and covering up their inside knowledge of the destruction they wreck for profit for years. In a #JustTransition their employees will have many years of work cleaning up the mess they made.
Meanwhile other people who profit from wrecking the climate and lying about it, the folks at So Cal Gas who plaster dirty, polluting fossil fuel buses with “Powered By Clean Air Technology!” stickers, are freaking out about the Mayor’s announcement.
They’ve been doing their Merchants of Doubt act for so long they thought it would just work forever.
Just like the damage they’ve done to our livable climate.