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Los Angeles takes steps to replace natural gas with renewables

On Tuesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti held a press conference with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to announce his decision not to modernize the Scattergood, Haynes, and Harbor natural gas plants in the Los Angeles basin.

The move is, in part, due to a 2010 California law that requires power plants to stop using ocean water for cooling. Initially, the plan called for modernizing the three plants with state-of-the-art technology that uses air for cooling. Mayor Garcetti argued that this is an opportunity for the city to reach its goal of being carbon-neutral by 2050.

“This is the beginning of the end of natural gas in Los Angeles,” Garcetti said in a statement. “The climate crisis demands that we move more quickly to end dependence on fossil fuel, and that’s what today is all about.”

Earth Justice noted that Tuesday’s decision is a “very welcome turn of events and a fundamental shift away from polluting fossil fuels towards our clean energy future.”

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said:  I'm announcing we will not repower three major coastal natu...

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said: “I’m announcing we will not repower three major coastal natural gas power plants. This is the beginning of the end of natural gas in Los Angeles.”
Los Angeles Mayor’s Office

“Can we,” to be changed to “How can we”
The Los Angeles Times is reporting the city has not specified how it is going to accomplish the feat of going from natural gas to renewables. The Times also notes that the city is still planning to build a natural gas power plant in Utah to replace a 1,900-megawatt coal-fired power plant that currently generates a portion of the city’s electricity.

David Wright, the General Manager for Los Angeles’ Department of Water and Power had a good answer to critics who may question how the city plans to use renewable energy to replace natural gas. At the press conference, he said: “The question that staff has somehow heard for a number of years is, ‘Can we?”

“I don’t think ‘can we? is the right word. It’s ‘How can we? Some of the best managers and the best engineers, planners, and operators will take this challenge and will make it work.”

In 2017, Los Angeles received 40 percent of its power from the three natural gas power plants along the coast. the plants are slated to be closed in 2029, reports Yale Environment 360.

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Written By

Karen Graham is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for environmental news. Karen's view of what is happening in our world is colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in man's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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