URGENT: New California statewide GMO-labeling bill needs your help!

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This coming Tuesday, April 1st, 2014, 9:30am in Room 113, the California Senate Agriculture Committee will be voting on SB-1381 (Evans): whether or not to require labeling of genetically-modified (GMO) food products for sale to eat in California.  TO CONTACT THE SENATORS IMMEDIATELY, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN.

This is a basic consumer rights issue, which encompasses all political beliefs and all economic groups.

As this ABC poll suggests, and poll after poll agrees, 93% of U.S. consumers are in support of labeling genetically-modified foods of any kind:
http://tinyurl.com/ABCpollGMOs.

Companies which produce GMO foods do not want their foods labeled as such because they know consumers will avoid their products.  In a pure market economy, consumers must have all the facts at their disposal to make informed choices in order to purchase (and therefore approve) the products they want to use.  If a product is deemed defective, it will not be purchased by consumers and it will be removed from shelves.  Why then, in our supposed “free market economy,” is there any question about labeling GMO products whatsoever?  The answer: corporate money polluting our politics.  Period.

With genetic engineering, without much Democratic decision-making at all, a few companies and scientists are trying to change the permanent genetic makeup of all life, life that was made either through divine intervention or through millions of years of evolution.  Either way, we have no right – simply for profit, or for research – to change them fundamentally.  Regardless of how far we humans have evolved, we are not, ourselves, Gods, and we do not truly understand “life” the same way we understand machines.

With the unchecked spread of genetically-modified soy and corn, a large unscientific experiment is taking place: people and animals are already eating GMO food and feed and we don’t truly know what effects these will have on any organism over the long-term.  No long-term study has been conducted; no results published to be refuted.  And if the whole of the U.S. population is being exposed to it, there is no control group.

Since probably 95% of all competent scientists in the field of genetic engineering are working for the side of GMO producers and only 5% are truly independent, the USDA and the FDA are generally approving genetically-modified crops and foods based mainly on science provided by companies who will profit from their sale.  That means we have a very serious scientific problem in relation to our food, our most important issue, which trickles down into health and water and resource management issues.  And, most relevant to the discussion surrounding SB-1381, it also means we have a serious Democratic problem.

What we do know, scientifically, is that early-onset diabetes and childhood obesity are both at epidemic proportions in the United States.  It is my opinion that the cause is the difference in food over the last ten years.  If you look at labels in markets, corn and soy, both highly genetically-modified crops in the U.S., have become major ingredients in most foods over the past decade.  But — and here is my salient point — if you look at the label, you have the choice to avoid those foods. 

If the people of California cannot be more effectively protected scientifically and they cannot Democratically choose whether they even want genetically-modified products in their lives (all polls suggest they do not), the choice should not be left up to the companies who have profit incentives whether or not to label their products.  Consumers should have the choice to vote in the store by reading the labels, labels reading GMO or non-GMO.  The whole population should not be subjected to potentially harmful substances without their permission or their choice.

This Tuesday, 5 members of the California Senate Agriculture Committee will be voting whether or not to allow the full Senate to vote on SB-1381.  We need more votes to pass it out of committee.  Please call them ASAP to express your support of SB-1381 (Evans) today.

Talking points:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/the_case_for_gmo_labeling

  • Concerns about the health impacts of eating genetically-modified food products; the dominance of our food supply by a handful of corporations, concerns that lower income people eat and are impacted by the processed food products which most contain genetically-modified ingredients; and that the increased use of pesticides and herbicides necessary for cultivation of genetically-modified crops are increasingly having negative impacts our groundwater, something we particularly need to protect as the drought situation worsens.
  • There is a strong precedent to SB-1381 in the United States: the 2004 Food Allergen Labeling Act, which protected consumers by requiring labeling of possible allergens like peanuts, soy and dairy.  When it went into force, stores and companies complied, prices remained stable, there was no excessive or abusive litigation and, most importantly, consumers had more information with which to protect themselves.  We have all seen the signs, “This product made on equipment which may have once touched peanuts.”
  • Food prices also remained stable when the European Union required the labeling of GMOs ten years ago.  Sixty-four countries across the globe either label GMOs or ban them completely, including Australia, Brazil, Japan, Peru, India, China and Russia.  I am especially concerned that people in China and Russia have more rights to know what is in the food they eat than we do in California.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HERE ARE THE SENATORS ON THE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE:

Ted Lieu -  Senate District 28 - (Mar Vista, Santa Monica, West LA, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Pacific Palisades, Bel Air, San Pedro, Rancho Palo Verdes).

State Capitol
(916) 651-4028
Fax: (916) 651-4928
senator.lieu@sen.ca.gov

——————————–

Cathleen Galgiani – Committee Chair - Dem 5 - (Stockton, Lodi, Galt, Lanthrop, Manteca, Tracy, Modesto, Salida, Riverbank)

State Capitol
(916) 651-4005
Fax: (916) 651-4905
senator.galgiani@senate.ca.gov

——————————–

Lois Wolk - Dem 3 - (Davis, Vacaville, Woodland, Fairfield, Napa, Sonoma, Vallejo, Calistoga, Winters, Dixon, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, St. Helena)

State Capitol
(916) 651-4003
Fax: (916) 651-4903
senator.wolk@senate.ca.gov

——————————–

Anthony Cannella - Rep-12 - (Modesto, Salinas, Merced, Madera, Turlock, Hollister, Ceres)

(916) 651-4012
Fax: (916) 651-4912
senator.cannella@senate.ca.gov

——————————–

Tom Berryhill - Rep -14 - (Fresno, Modesto, Salida, Lodi, Sonora, Waterford, Oakdale, Escalon, Ripton)

(916) 651-4014
Fax: (916) 651-4914
senator.berryhill@senate.ca.gov

——————————–

If you live in any of their districts, please contact them immediately and tell them you want them to support SB 1381.

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For further info:

http://www.labelgmos.org/

For other endorsements:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/endorsement_main_page

Resources:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/resources

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LA COUNCIL COMMITTEE MOVES FORWARD MORATORIUM ON FRACKING IN LA, #UnfrackLA

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LOS ANGELES – In a packed hearing room, the Los Angeles City Council Planning and Land Use Committee headed by Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar approved two motions calling for a moratorium and for land use restrictions on the controversial oil and gas extraction method fracking.

Co-author of the fracking moratorium motion, Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz said, “We’ve begun the worst drought in California history.  Each fracked well reportedly uses five to ten million gallons of water and turns it into what is, essentially, untreatable toxic waste.  We have other methods of extracting oil and gas; there is no substitute for drinking water.”

Moratorium co-author Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin mentioned the recent earthquakes in Oklahoma (more than 2,800 in 2013), which the US Geological Survey suspects are attributed to fracking wastewater disposal.  “We cannot continue to allow the safety of the neighborhoods we represent to be jeopardized by dangerous drilling,” Bonin said, “I am very excited by today’s progress and I look forward to continuing this conversation with the full council on Friday.”

Land Use restrictions author Councilmember Bernard Parks mentioned the health impacts of fracking near residential neighborhoods and schools.

Kwazi Nkrumah of the MLK Coalition discussed the social justice impacts of fracking and climate change.  He invited everyone in the room to fight by attending the Great March for Climate Action launch event, a cross-country march beginning in Los Angeles and ending in Washington D.C. in time for the November mid-term Congressional elections.  The marchers’ aim is to keep action on climate change at the top of the Congressional debate all the way across the country.

Residents of the Esperanza Community Housing Corp recently affected by the oil company AllenCo’s recently shut down University Park oil drilling pad and of the Harbor Gateway North Neighborhood Council and the Mar Vista Community Council, testified alongside members of the environmental, social justice and health advocacy groups: with Food & Water Watch leading the way, Sierra Club, NRDC, the MLK Coalition and Citizens for a Safe Community.

The motions are scheduled to be heard before full City Council this coming Friday, February 28th.

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Great March for Climate Action launch day press announcement at LA City Hall, THIS WEDS, 9:15am, #ClimateMarch, @350Action

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Join Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, the Sierra Club and the Southern California Climate Action Coalition (350.org/LA) to announce the fast-approaching Great March for Climate Action and to encourage everyone to take climate change personally. The worst drought in California history is here and each of us in California will be directly affected by it. 

Press Conference Details:

Wednesday, February 19th
9:15am
Los Angeles City Hall 
200 N. Spring Street (outside Spring Street steps)
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Bring: Climate Action Signs (fracking, tar sands, carbon tax, Obama masks, et al)

For details on the Great March launch event: http://tinyurl.com/ClimateMarchRSVP

Facebook Page: http://j.mp/ClimateMarchFB

National Great Climate March website: ClimateMarch.org

“There are not two sides, but the whole of humanity. There are no winners and losers, we all either win or lose in the future we make for ourselves.”
                                          – U.N climate chief Christiana Figueres

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Bee Day is finally here! TOMOROW: Weds, Feb. 12th at LA City Hall, #yaybees

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Please join us!

LA City Council is voting on 3 pending bee measures on February 12th.  If you haven’t been following the issue, “colony collapse disorder” has been devastating bee colonies around the country.  Bottom line, we need bees to pollinate our food crops.  And our flowers.

LA currently has a healthy honey bee population and we want to keep it that way.
 
Press event:
When: February 12th, 2014
           9:15am
Where: Los Angeles City Hall
           Spring Street Steps forecourt
Who: Councilmembers Koretz, Bonin, likely Huizar…
         Rob and Chelsea MacFarland: http://honeylove.org/team/
         Urban farmers (invited, but not confirmed)
What: To talk up these measures in support of bees:
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Exposing $22 Million In Corporate Lies About I-522 (hint: vote YES!), #YesOn522

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I am here to tell you why it is important for voters in Washington State to ignore all the lies that are coming at you from every paid media outlet.  It is important to vote YES on Initiative 522 (label GMOs).  

When the Seattle City Council voted 8-1 to endorse I-522, Councilmember Richard Conlin said, “Consumers have the right to know what is in their food, just as they have the right to know ingredients and nutritional information.”   Amen. 

He also said Washington farmers are increasingly dependent on exports and with 64 other countries worldwide now requiring labeling, those markets could be lost.  With a genetic-engineering company trying to shove GMO salmon onto the marketplace, Washington’s fishing community could also be at extreme risk.

Yet, there is a massive disinformation campaign going on from every outlet—TV, radio, mass mailings—being funded by the same folks who told us DDT, PCBs and Agent Orange aren’t dangerous to human health (they are), using the same lies they used in California, and none of what they’re saying is true.  Their lies are so egregious that the Washington State Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the Grocery Manufacturers Association two weeks ago, saying that they illegally collected and spent more than $7 million while shielding the identity of its contributors.  Is it weird to anyone else besides me that the Grocers don’t want us to know what’s in the food we’re buying from them? 

Their lies were so egregious in California, StanfordUniversity even forced them to take one commercial off the air because they represented the spokesperson as a Stanford professor, which he wasn’t. That should tell you all you need to know about the opposition’s integrity.  Dana Bieber is an expensive hired gun and the gun she’s firing is full of lies.

And the latest, the opposition is falsely posing as the Democratic Party and sending out postcards with fake endorsements which the Democratic Party does NOT agree with.  Here are the real Democratic Party endorsements, including YES on I-522!  And all the overall Yes on 522 endorsements.

Here’s the real story about Initiative 522:

Genetically-engineered food products (GMOS) defined: For one example, Bt-corn has the gene of a pesticide artificially inserted into it in a laboratory.  When an invading insect eats Bt-corn, its gut walls disintegrate until it dies from its own stomach bacteria.  Then they sell it to us as food.  The food folks at the FDA don’t regulate Bt-corn, but, here’s the best part, the Environmental Protection Agency DOES regulate it… as a pesticide.  And corn is in everything: corn chips, corn flakes, soda pop, candy, high-fructose corn syrup, and a massive list of additives that goes on and on.

I want the ability, through labeling, to choose not to eat a pesticide.

Health effects of GMOS - The companies who sell GMOs claim patent protection and will not allow long-term health studies to be performed by independent entities.  Beside, there is no control group.  We are all eating genetically-engineered food products without our knowledge.  The FDA and USDA have former GMO corporate execs at the helm, which is a major conflict of interest and why the federal government bureaucracies haven’t moved on labeling.

Initiative 522 is a well-written, well-researched proposition, put together by a diligent group of food industry, food policy, farm, science and health experts, whom I trust implicitly.

Initiative 522 specifically only addresses genetically-engineered crops sold whole or as ingredients in other food items, to make it as easy as possible for stores and companies to comply. These crops include: corn, soybeans, canola, sugar beets, cotton, Hawaiian papaya, some zucchini, and crookneck squash. WashingtonState law requires that ballot measures only address one state code at a time. Items not included in Initiative 522—alcohol and meat—are covered by different state or federal codes and therefore do not apply.

There is a strong precedent to Initiative 522 in the U.S.: The 2004 Food Allergen Labeling Act protects consumers by requiring labeling of possible allergens like peanuts, soy and dairy. When Congress approved it, the same food companies objected and made the same claims, yet, when the Act went into force, stores and companies complied, prices remained stable, there was no excessive or abusive litigation, and consumers had more information with which to protect themselves (we have all seen the labels, “This product made on equipment which may have once touched peanuts”).

Initiative 522 offers no economic incentives for lawyers to sue.  The only new enforcement provision added by I-522 allows a consumer to sue only for an order to force required labeling to take place—not to recover any money at all.  Consumers cannot file a class action without first giving notice, and if the defendant fixes the labels, then no class action is permitted. Any penalties from a violation go only to the state, not the plaintiff or lawyer.

Initiative 522 does not include a “bounty hunter” provision. The same pesticide companies making claims about lawsuits are themselves suing farmers across the country for saving their own seeds.

Food prices remained stable when the European Union required the labeling of GMOs ten years ago. Sixty-four countries across the globe either label GMOs or ban them completely, including Australia, Brazil, Japan, Peru, India, China and Russia. Why on Earth do people in Russia and China have more rights to know what’s in their food than we do? That’s not the country I grew up in.

Creates extra paperwork for retailers? As mentioned, there are only 8 GMO crops that retailers will have to label themselves.  Otherwise, it’s up to the company producing the processed food boxes.  Besides, they already label them on the produce they sell with the PLU codes developed by the Produce Marketing Association.  So-called “conventionally grown fruit” has a label with 4 numbers.  Anything organic or genetically-engineered has an extra number.  Organic starts with a “9″ and genetically-engineered starts with an “8.”  Organic bananas are 94011, for example.  It’s FOOD, they already keep tight paperwork.  That’s how they track an e-coli outbreak back to a certain corner of a certain field.  Anyone who believes farmers who use GMO seeds don’t already keep reams of paperwork to address the patent protection situation, aren’t paying attention.

If you have other questions or concerns, I would be happy to address them. This is one of the most important issues of our time and Washington State has the opportunity to lead the way towards greater transparency and a more level playing field (organic farmers are not federally subsidized; GMO farmers are), which is what our free market economy is supposed to be all about. 

To sum up: Vote Yes on Initiative 522!  It is our right to know what’s in the food we feed our families.

 

To learn more about how the Pesticide and Junk Food Industries are using the exact same lies in WashingtonState that they used in California:

http://truefoodnow.org/2012/10/17/california-newspaper-editorial-boards-spread-false-claims-and-faulty-logic-on-proposition-37/

or

NY Times editorial: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/15/g-m-o-s-lets-label-em/

or

http://yeson522.com/about/faq/

 

Thanks for reading!

All the best to you,

 Andy

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THIS FRIDAY LA City Councilmembers Move to Make LA GMO-Free Growing Zone, #Yeson522

Greve -GMO Free Community

Please join Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz for the announcement of his motion with Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Mike Bonin to make the City of Los Angeles a GMO-Free Growing Zone.

When:  9:00am, TOMORROW, Friday, October 18, 2013
Where: Los Angeles City Hall rotunda
             200 N. Spring Street, 3rd Floor
Who:  LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz
            LA City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell
            David King, Seed Bank of Los Angeles
            Joanne Poyou, Executive Director, Environmental Change-makers
            Claudia Hernandez-Romero, Professor of Sustainability (Spanish-speaking)
            Nisha Vida, Associate Producer of the film, “GMO, OMG!”
Why:   This will be an enormous battle against the brutal, corrupt, and obscenely-wealthy pesticide industries and we need all the support we can get!
What else can you do to be supportive: Send attached press advisory (GMO-Free ADVISORY – Koretz 6+) to newspapers reporters you find online in Washington State, to let everyone fighting for Initiative 522 that LA is with them in solidarity.
More info:   The LA City Council motion will prohibit the growing or sales of genetically-modified (GMO) seeds within the city limits with an eye toward protecting LA’s thriving honeybee population, protecting the integrity of the Seed Library of Los Angeles, and protecting LA’s urban farmers from both the type of genetically-engineered plant infection which recently occurred in an Oregon wheatfield, and the bullying lawsuits of the pesticide industry.  The introduction of the motion is timed to show solidarity with Washington State’s Initiative 522, which calls for the labeling of genetically-modified food-like products.  Despite its falling statewide due to a $48 million misinformation campaign by the grocers, the pesticide and the junk food industries, the similar CA GMO labeling initiative, Prop. 37, was approved by 52% of LA County voters.
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The Plastic Bag Industry’s Unnatural History LA River Museum, #BanTheBag

The day we canoed the Los Angeles River, I have to admit, I was a little confused to see that one of the plastics industry’s lobby groups had sponsored the Paddle the LA River program.  Were they actually just being ironic placing their logo right beside “Keep Los Angeles Beautiful”?

Paddle LA River Sponsor

After all, rivers and plastics seemed to me to be inherently incompatible.  [And, truth be told, ever since Alanis, I haven't been quite sure the status of irony in today's culture...]

But then it hit me… they were PROUD of what they had accomplished:

Banked

This was likely, in the eyes of the same plastics industry who says plastic bags do not actually get into waterways in appreciable numbers, an exhibition of their very finest work…

The heights

Something they would want everyone to see…

Plastic tree hanging

Like much modern “art,” it was definitely an acquired-taste kind of aesthetic.  You either loved it…

Or you hated it.

If you prefer a different kind of river… please come tell the Los Angeles City Council about it as they take their last vote on the City’s still-pending plastic bag ban ordinance:

THIS Tuesday, June 18, 2013
10am

(suggest arriving at 9am for a good seat)

Los Angeles City Hall
City Council Chambers
200 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA  90012

Or, if you can’t make it downtown, you can call the Councilmembers and the Mayor:

http://www.lacity.org/government/ElectedOfficialOffices/CityCouncil/CouncilDirectory/index.htm?laCategory=1820

Talking points:
http://www.healthebay.org/get-involved/take-action/city-los-angeles-bag-ban

You will get the river you choose.

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BIG PLASTIC$ LOBBY TRYING TO KILL LA’S PLASTIC BAG BAN – We need your help to get it finalized! #banthebag

THE BIG PLASTIC$ LOBBY IS TRYING TO KILL LA’S PLASTIC BAG BAN – We need your help to get it finalized!

LA River plastic bag pix3

As you know, on May 23, 2012, in order to protect our rivers, oceans and the creatures who live within them, the Los Angeles City Council voted to move forward with a ban on plastic bags.  Now, after a year of hard work by the Bureau of Sanitation and the City Attorney, the environmental impact report and the ordinance are complete and ready for the City Council’s final vote.

Except… the highly-paid plastic lobbyists, including the former Speaker of the Assembly, are once again making the rounds at City Hall, trying to stall things until the new City Council is seated in July, at which point we would likely have to start all over, or it would simply be dead in the water.

We need your help!  Please call your LA City Councilmembers, the Council President Wesson, and departing Mayor Villaraigosa to let them know the people of Los Angeles want their leadership in finishing this off THIS MONTH, IN JUNE, before the new City Council takes over.

Here’s contact info for the Councilmembers and the Mayor (he has to sign it): please call and tell them you support a Citywide ban on plastic bags and want it scheduled to be heard in full Council meeting on June 18th.

Talking points can be found here:
http://www.healthebay.org/get-involved/take-action/city-los-angeles-bag-ban

Council President Herb Wesson (213) 473-7010

Mayor Villaraigosa (213) 978-0600 or (213) 978-0721 or mayor@lacity.org

Councilmember Ed Reyes (213) 473-7001

Councilmember Paul Krekorian (213) 473-7002

Councilmember Dennis Zine (213) 473-7003

Councilmember Tom LaBonge (213) 473-7004

Councilmember Richard Alarcon (213) 473-7007

Councilmember Bernard Parks (213) 473-7008

Councilmember Jan Perry (213) 473-7009

Councilmember Bill Rosendahl (213) 473-7011

Councilmember Mitch Englander (213) 473-7012

Councilmember Eric Garcetti (213) 473-7013

Councilmember Jose Huizar (213) 473-7014

Councilmember Joe Buscaino (213) 473-7015
________________________________________________

Here’s where you find out who represents you specifically and additional contact information for all Councilmembershttp://www.lacity.org/government/ElectedOfficialOffices/CityCouncil/CouncilDirectory/index.htm?laCategory=1820

As we’ve seen just today with the announced permanent closing of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, strong advocacy works!  Your call will make a difference.

Thank you!  

Posted in Get Involved!, Plastic Bag Bans, Plastic Waste | Leave a comment

Million Bag Giveaway: Andy Needs your help to raise $100,000 to help Green Vets LA and Homeboy Industries, #MillionBagsLA

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Hi everyone,

This is my new initiative and I need your help.

It’s an easy vote to help us win this contest to launch our Million Reusable Bag Giveaway. We are making a million reusable bags to distribute in the lower-income communities of Los Angeles, so that everyone can celebrate the upcoming finalization of our plastic bag ban.

Thank you!

-Andy Shrader

 

http://myla2050.maker.good.is/projects/MillionBagGiveaway#

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LADWP Takes Historic Action Toward Clean Energy Future for Los Angeles, #ClimateActionBeginsAtHome

Sometimes the news is so good, you print the press release…

LADWP Letterhead
 

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LADWP Announces Negotiations to Sell and Divest from Navajo Generating Station and Board Approves Contract to Enable LADWP to Completely Transition Out of Coal from Intermountain Power Plant by 2025

LOS ANGELES— The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power took historic steps today towards eliminating coal from LA’s power supply when it announced that representatives of LADWP and Salt River Project have reached sufficient progress on the principle terms to sell its stake in Navajo Generating Station for the two utilities to move forward to negotiate a definitive agreement that would end LA’s use of coal-fired power from the plant by the end of 2015.  If a final agreement can be reached and approved by each party’s governing bodies, this will end LA’s role in NGS more than four years earlier than mandated by California state law.  On this same day, the LADWP’s Board of Water and Power Commissioners approved a contract that will enable LADWP to completely transition out of coal power from the Intermountain Power Plant in Delta, Utah by 2025 at the latest, with efforts to begin that transition no later than 2020.  The Navajo announcement and action on Intermountain Power Plant continues LADWP’s transformation of the city’s power supply to create a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.

“The era of coal is over. Today we affirm our commitment to make Los Angeles a cleaner, greener, more sustainable city,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “By divesting from coal and investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, we reduce our carbon footprint and set a precedent for the national power market.”

Thomas R. Sayles, President of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners, said, “Today we continued the Board’s efforts to meet environmental mandates efficiently and in a cost effective manner while maintaining a reliable power supply for our customers.”

LADWP currently owns a 21% interest in the 2250 megawatt (MW) Navajo Generating Station, receiving 477 MW of coal-fired power from the plant.  Today, the Board directed staff to develop the final transaction agreement, which is expected to be approved by both parties later this summer, with consideration by the Los Angeles City Council thereafter.

“We are very pleased that we have made progress  with Salt River Project to enable moving forward with the negotiation of the final agreements that would enable LADWP to fully divest of coal power from Navajo by the end of 2015,” said Ronald O. Nichols, LADWP General Manager.  “This will close a chapter on our reliance on coal-fired power in Los Angeles.  Our efforts to create a clear path to ending our use of coal-fired power from the Intermountain Power Project is also a major achievement for a complex arrangement involving 30 Utah public power utilities and 6 California municipal utilities who receive power from that project.  This allows us to focus on the new low-carbon future of Los Angeles.”  

Eliminating coal power from Intermountain Power Plant (IPP) was more complex than negotiating the terms of sale of Navajo because LADWP does not own any part of IPP.  LADWP is one of six Southern California municipal utilities that purchase coal power from the 1,800-megawatt (MW) Intermountain Power Project located in Delta Utah under a long-term power purchase agreement that expires in 2027.  IPP is owned by 23 municipal utilities in Utah and supplies power to 30 utilities in Utah and six utilities in Southern California, including LADWP.  Under California law, SB 1368, electric utilities will not be allowed to import power into the state that exceeds a fossil fuel emissions cap after their current contracts expire. The emissions cap is set at the level of an efficient, combined cycle natural gas power plant.

The Board’s action today approves LADWP’s portion of the amendment to the long-term power sales agreement to stop taking coal power from IPP earlier than 2027 and build a smaller natural gas plant that complies with California emission standards.  LADWP and other Southern California municipal utilities will continue to receive renewable energy from Southern Utah from the Milford Wind project; with power delivered over the same transmission line that presently also delivers power from the Intermountain Power Project.  The contract provides for beginning LADWP’s transition out of coal power from IPP with the commencement of engineering, design and construction of the smaller natural gas-fired generating plant by 2020 and completely eliminating coal power from IPP no later than 2025.  The smaller plant, estimated at between 600 – 1200 megawatts, will allow LADWP and the other local municipal customers to develop more renewables and bring it to Southern California along existing transmission lines.

“Working with IPP and its other customers, we have developed a win-win-win solution that is good for Southern California and good for Utah,” said Aram Benyamin, LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager – Power.  “Siting and building a new power plant and the transmission lines to deliver replacement power to Los Angeles would have cost at least twice that of rebuilding at IPP.  By using an existing power plant site and existing DC Southern Transmission System  for delivery of power from the future project and transforming it we will save money, time, reduce emissions by over 2/3 that of the existing plant, be able to build more renewables and bring that power home to Los Angeles.  That’s a homerun.”

The amendment is subject to approval by the Los Angeles City Council, will be considered by the other municipal purchasers and is currently being ratified by the 23 Utah owners.

Today’s actions by the Board are the latest steps taken to transform LA’s energy supply and create a clean energy future.  Other major accomplishments include reaching 20% renewables in 2010, establishing and implementing a 150 MW Solar Feed-In Tariff program, approving the largest utility-scale solar developments of any municipal utility in the country, completing the utility-built Adelanto and Pine Tree Solar Plants and more than doubling the LADWP’s investment in energy efficiency, among others.

The transformation of LADWP’s historic energy supply is well-underway. “Eliminating coal is one leg of our transformation, but we can’t stand on that leg alone – we have to replace that power supply,” said Ronald O. Nichols, LADWP General Manager. “That is why for several years now and for several more to come, LADWP has been taking steps to replace coal power with a combination of greatly increased commitment to energy efficiency, expanded renewable energy, and balancing that with a necessary amount of low-carbon natural gas power. “All of these elements will come together to ensure a reliable, cost effective power supply transformation.”

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Amen.

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