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article imageLos Angeles Says No to Coal Power by 2020

By Mat Elmore     Jul 11, 2009 in Environment
Last week Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced that the city would be powered entirely by coal-free energy by 2020. The announcement caused Intermountain Power Agency (IPA) to scrap plans for their third coal-fired power plant.
Los Angeles was planning on partnering with the IPA to build a 900 megawatt coal-fired power plant.
"The project has been abandoned," IPA spokesman John Ward told the New York Times on Wednesday.
Los Angeles purchases approximately 45 percent of IPA's power from two existing coal-fired power plants.
According to the New York Times, the IPA is a "political subdivision of the state of Utah co-owned by municipal and rural electric cooperatives."
The Sierra Club celebrated the announcement noting that it was 100th coal power plant that had been abandoned since 2001.
"At the beginning of the coal rush in 2001, it seemed inevitable that as many as 150 new proposed coal plants would get built," said Bruce Nilles, director of Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign. "Since then we've seen an incredible change in the way people, businesses and governments -- like Los Angeles -- are thinking about energy, figuring out how to generate and use it more cleanly and efficiently. Coal is no longer a smart or cost-effective option."
In Mayor Villaraigosa's earlier announcement, he stated that the "Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will deliver 40 percent renewable power, with the remainder coming from natural gas, nuclear, and large hydroelectric."
At his speech, Villaraigosa said, "At the center of our [LA's] economic strategy is our green agenda. Angelenos, there are two shades of green, and they go together beautifully in L.A.!"
He added later, "Breaking the coal habit is a long term proposition demanding a long-term commitment. It's going to require investment from ratepayers. Our future depends on pricing power in relation to the environmental cost."
Many are skeptical of Villaraigosa's bold proposal, noting the fact that such a large chunk of Los Angeles power, approximately 40%, currently comes from coal power. He failed to explain how the city would accomplish that goal in his speech.
More about Los angeles, Coal, 2020, Antonio villaraigosa, Mayor
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