Los Angeles To Ditch Coal Power Completely By 2025

The city will reduce demand and convert to natural gas, showing that real work on better climate and energy policy might come from the city level, not the feds.

Score one for the growing camp that believes cities can make a bigger impact on climate change than the federal government: Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced this week that the city will eliminate coal power entirely from its electrical grid by 2025.

L.A. already uses quadruple the amount of renewable energy sources compared to before Villaraigosa took office in 2005. But the city relies more on coal power—specifically, the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona and the Intermountain Power Project (IPP) in Utah—than many other cities. Today, L.A. sources 39% of its power from the two plants.

Over the next 12 years, the city will gradually end its contracts with the plants, transitioning to cleaner energy in the process. As part of a new amendment to L.A.'s contract with IPP, the power provider will build a natural gas plant by 2020 that complies with state emissions standards. No word, however, on where the rest of the city’s power will come from—though the city has said that increased energy efficiency and reliance on smart meters will help ease demand.

In practical terms, L.A.'s move means that emissions from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will drop 59% below 1990 levels, while citywide emissions will dip 40% below 1990 levels. That’s a bigger reduction than any other major city in the U.S. has been able to achieve.

Other big cities: Take note. If L.A. can do this, there’s no reason why you can’t too.

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  • Hugh Giblin

    Randy's Donuts is located in the City of Inglewood, not the City of Los Angeles.

  • Hugh Giblin

    Randy's Donuts is actually located in the City of Inglewood, not the City of Los Angeles. 

  • Thor

    There has been a lot of shale found.  Natural Gas prices are at an all time low, has been for several years, and it looks like it'll stay that way for many more years.  This is more about cost than green. Sorry, it's just a PR spin on making a cost savings choice to move to gas.

  • alanfh

    Waiting for the federal government to tackle issues such as climate change is ridiculously inefficient. This article is absolutely correct, it has to happen on a more micro level, perhaps even partitioning areas of L.A. into sub-communities and focus on what they can each to create a larger dent in the problem. Like you said, if L.A. can do it, then other cities definitely can too.