Time’s up for the DWP to lay out in detail with cost estimates, timetables and implementation strategy its proposal to make LA the greenest city in the nation.
Or at least the deadline would have arrived if voters had not risen up and defeated Measure B on March 3 — a defeat inflicted because it was a back room deal that amounted to a blank check for billions of dollars for the very people who had failed over and over to deliver on their promises to deliver solar energy to LA.
The only meaningful provision in Measure B was the requirement that the DWP come back in 90 days with a real plan to finally deliver on its promises to bring solar energy to LA.
The 90 days are up and there is no plan — at least no plan that has been brought forward for public debate, discussion and analysis.
But that hasn’t stopped the DWP from getting the blank check for billions it wants or moving ahead without public scrutiny on a green energy scheme that, based on past performance, will enrich its union, the IBEW, and the usual coterie of profiteers and power brokers without producing the clean power it promises.
Promises are cheap to the LA political machine. After the defeat of Measure B, there were promises to meet with community, business and labor to develop a solar energy plan that would win public support. No such discussions have taken place.
In the meantime, the DWP has moved forward to get approval for its Green Path North transmission line through fragile and unspoiled desert terrain near Joshua Tree although the I-10 corridor already provides a cheaper and faster way to move renewable energy to the city.
The mayor helps this along by filling a vacancy on the DWP Commission with former Sempra Energy executive Tom Sayles who and was recently appointed USC’s vice president of government and community relations.
The public is demanding a ratepayer advocate to protect their interests and provide transparency and open discussion but what we get is a corporate lobbyist for energy companies.
His appointment does not suggest someone who will stand in the way of the DWP from getting a 4,000 percent increase in the “pass-through” rate hikes as it goes about buying renewable energy no matter what it costs while enriching contractors and consultants.
Just as with Measure B, environmental groups with their own economic and ideological interests are all aboard the DWP’s underground solar energy plans.
The problem with their holier-than-thou, old school political power play is that it leaves the public out and ultimately fails to achieve the stated goal of a cleaner environment.
Just because a Prius emits less pollution than the ’55 Chevy I dream of owning doesn’t mean it isn’t destroying the planet too. If you want less pollution, you need fewer and cleaner cars which means building a real public transportation system and making the streets safe for cyclists and pedestrians.
Just because solar installations are less polluting than coal-burning plants doesn’t mean you are cleaning the air when the dirty power plants are still operating and you are adding to electricity demand with over-development.
We need to use less water and power — not more cars even if they don’t pollute as much as old ones or more people even if you install rooftop solar panels.
Routinely approving more massive developments as the City Council did this week for Century City and the La Brea-Willoughby areas doesn’t reduce our consumption of water and power or ease traffic congestion.
The contradictions of boasting you’re making LA a green city when you’re actually making the environmental problems worse exposes the truth about what’s going on.
This isn’t a green machine but the same old greed machine.