Los Angeles, CA, March 17, 2021 – The L.A. City Council Rules, Elections, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee voted to advance Councilmember Mike Bonin’s motion calling for a just transition plan from the State to shut down the Playa del Rey gas facility. Similar language was used by Culver City earlier this month in passing a resolution requesting that Governor Gavin Newsom commit to a plan and timeline for closing the site.
“As Los Angeles gets ready to finalize a plan for reaching 100 percent renewable energy, it is time for the governor to do the same,” said Food & Water Watch Southern California Organizer Ethan Senser. “But SoCalGas’ site at Playa del Rey is not the only dirty gas facility with no place in our clean energy future. If you watch the City Council’s meeting next week you’ll see Aliso Canyon is noticeably absent from the agenda. As we move away from fossil fuels and the demand for gas plummets, we need to be clear – protecting one community requires protecting all of our communities. That sort of equitable transition can only happen if Governor Newsom starts acting now.”
Studies point to the shift towards battery storage, more efficient electric appliances, as well as smart grid technologies as examples of how the use of natural gas as a source of energy, heating and cooking is increasingly becoming a thing of the past in California. Unless plans are put in place for an equitable transition to clean energy, low income and other marginalized communities will be left with the cost and health burdens of an aging gas infrastructure.
Commenters at the meeting thanked Council President Nury Martinez, who chairs the committee and recently passed a resolution of her own slamming LADWP for failing to respond to a gas leak at the Sun Valley Generating Station, which sits next to her district. That resolution ordered LADWP to create a timeline for how the Sun Valley site could be closed. A similar resolution put forward by Councilmember John Lee concerning the Aliso Canyon storage facility in his district has yet to advance — something that residents claim is the result of Lee’s unwillingness to champion the issue.