United States

United States

Los Angeles considers own legislation for renewables mandate

Concerned about reducing air pollution in the Los Angeles area, the mayor of the country's second largest city, James Hahn, is proposing to adopt renewables portfolio standard (RPS) legislation identical to the California law passed in September 2002. The state RPS calls for 20% of electricity to come from renewable energy resources by 2017, but California municipal utilities like that of Los Angeles were exempt from the law. Environment California Research and Policy Center, a watchdog environmental organisation, is worried about the details of the Los Angeles proposal. "We are reserving our applause for when the mayor reveals exactly what kind of energy resources he will allow into the RPS," says Bernadette Del Chiaro of the organisation. "We continue to ask Mayor Hahn, as well as the Los Angeles City Council, to quickly establish this 20% by 2017 renewable energy standard and to include only those resources considered renewable by the state, such as solar, wind and geothermal power." The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power now generates about 3% of its energy from renewables, but the city utility could increase this to 20% at a small cost, about $0.40 a month for an average residential electricity use, says Chiaro. "That's a small price to pay for clean air," she says. Mayor Hahn appointed what he calls a Green Ribbon Commission to look into how the city can make steady progress toward the 20% goal and to embark on a bidding process to get the energy.

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