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.
When we last wrote about AB 2145 it was after a trip to Sacramento to speak out against the bill at the Senate Energy Committee hearing on it. We told the bill’s author, Assemblyman Stephen Bradford that we wanted to bring Community Choice Power to the South Bay, especially cities like Inglewood and Gardena, where lowering electricity bills will have a big impact on homeowners and business owners. We went home that day happy that the bill’s opt in provision had been removed.
But as it turns out we shouldn’t have been so pleased because AB 2145 was still alive and in its revised form now had three different ways to kill the current Community Choice programs in Marin County and Sonoma County, and to make sure no new Community Choice Power programs, like our own embryonic South Bay Clean Power efforts, can possibly succeed.
How does it do that? Pretty simply –
What a unique concept. First admit what a failure you were in your own personal efforts of launching a Community Choice power program where you live. Then ignore or lie about the progress made by so many outside your community. And finally, try to kill the Community Choice power program for anyone else with the skills and abilities to do what you are not capable of.
That’s been the strategy of SCE’s man-on-the inside of the California State Assembly, Steven Bradford, who says he “resents the implications” that he is carrying water for his former employers and current campaign contributors.
Mock outrage by bamboozlers and scoundrels upon getting called out for their attempts at the old Okey-Doke is a classic loser technique. Good old Foghorn Leghorn in the classic cartoons couldn’t have sounded any less convincing. Especially after being puppet mastered all hearing long by the dirty energy lobbyist who whispered in his ear to feed him talking points.
It was a sad display of how laws get made in Sacramento and a cynical confirmation of all your worst fears about corrupt, dishonest, egocentric politicians who mean us more harm than good.
Fortunately the people also had a chance to speak: Read more
They tell me to stop wishing he was somebody else and that I’m dreaming if I think he’s ever going to change into the dynamo that I fantasize about.
Yet still… I couldn’t stop thinking about it Wednesday night at St. Rocke’s in Hermosa Beach where I had gone to get away from it all and rock out to Jimmy Vaughan and his band. Luckily that totally did the trick as I downed one quadruple The Reverend after another, locking into the groove.
That night I slept like Rip Van Winkle himself, dead to the world and dreaming the vivid-as-life dreams that The Reverend, and the music, and the moment made possible.
And it all suddenly became clear to me. Suddenly we were at The Crossroads as Ted Lieu runs for Henry Waxman’s seat in the United States Congress. Waxman has been our heroic climate champion for many years now and is retiring. New, fresh, young, energetic blood is needed from a new champion at this special spot on the climate timeline – and Ted Lieu has now seized his moment and become that champion.
Everything he’s done in life has led to this unique time and place. And I could see Ted, bigger than life, looking strong, and determined and unstoppable. He was downright dynamic.
And the issue that Ted grabbed and commanded and was using to transform himself into a climate legend was Community Choice Aggregation. It was a natural for Ted and he knew it.
And right before my eyes Ted was making it his own and becoming positively evangelical about it. Read more