The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will hold seven meetings around the city later this month to explain its plans for new electricity and water rates. Utility officials heard what some people had to say at a hearing a few days ago.
Coal was at the top of the list for dozens of activists who wore yellow and black T-shirts organized by Greenpeace and the Sierra Club. They're pushing the DWP to stop using coal-fired power plants within nine years, as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he intended to do during his second inaugural speech.
One person who spoke up was a fifth grader named Dario. "I was watching this show about the twisters happening in 2011. And it said the glaciers in the North Pole are melting so that creates more water vapor which means more twisters, and this is happening because of global warming." Dario is a student at the Alessandro School. "And we in the USA are a great factor in that pollution. So I urge you to get off the use of coal."
Others said they want to make sure the L.A. City Council develops a strong ratepayer advocate for the utility. Voters approved the creation of that office this year. At the hearing, DWP chief Ron Nichols told the City Council and the Water and Power commissioners the dialogue is just beginning; the utility is ready to listen.