Environment & Science

Arizona boycott politics spill over onto LADWP

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The fight over Arizona's stance on illegal immigration is spilling into L.A.’s Department of Water and Power. KPCC's Molly Peterson has the story.

Los Angeles city leaders have been up in arms about an Arizona law that enables police officers to ask people they stop for some other reason about their immigration status. So the L.A. City Council passed a boycott resolution to freeze out Arizona-produced goods and services.

At first it wasn't clear whether and how the city's port, airport and public utility would participate. One state lawmaker in Arizona thought he knew, and wrote an open letter to the city of L.A. He suggested that Arizona should just switch off the electricity its coal and nuclear plants send to the L.A. Department of Water and Power. His remarks drew approval from some activists online.

Now the interim general manager of the DWP, Austin Beutner, has responded. In a written release, he pointed out that L.A.’s municipal utility owns the power the city gets from Arizona – about 25 percent of the total demand. Given that, he said, there's no conflict with the city council's boycott.