Al Gore says Los Angeles's plan to go 'coal free' makes it one of top 5 cities fighting global warming

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Former Vice President Al Gore congratulated Los Angeles on its initiative to rid itself of reliance on coal as a power source during a press conference outside the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's John Ferraro Building, March 22.

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Christopher Okula/KPCC

Former Vice President Al Gore congratulated Los Angeles on its initiative to rid itself of reliance on coal as a power source during a press conference outside the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's John Ferraro Building, March 22. The decision by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to eliminate Los Angeles' reliance on coal by 2025 grew out of an initiative by the Sierra Club, an environmental organization.

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Christopher Okula/KPCC

On March 22, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa describes his motives for committing Los Angeles to the Kyoto Protocol and eliminating coal as a source of the city's power by 2025. The decision by Villaraigosa was lauded by Former Vice President Al Gore, who was also in attendance.

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Christopher Okula/KPCC

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa poses with Beyond Coal supporters after a press conference outside the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's John Ferraro Building, March 22.

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Christopher Okula/KPCC

A Beyond Coal button on the lapel of a Sierra Club supporter. Beyond Coal is a promotional campaign organized by the Sierra Club.


Former Vice President Al Gore joined Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at the L.A. Department of Water and Power Friday to celebrate LA's plan to go “coal free” within the next 12 years.

“What you have done, Mr. Mayor, and what your team and the people of Los Angeles have done, is to not only take a dramatic and inspiring step to help solve the climate crisis," Gore said. "You’re also inspiring hope that democracy works in America, and that with leadership we can do great things.”

RELATED: City of LA to quit coal at Utah's Intermountain Power Plant by 2025

Gore said the goal is a “big deal” because it’s something few cities have taken on.

“Let me tell you what they are: London, Toronto, Copenhagen and Berlin. Los Angeles joins that list of the five greatest cities in the world where combating global warming is concerned,” he said.

The LADWP currently gets 40 percent of its energy from coal-fired plants in Utah and Arizona. The utility voted on Tuesday to amend its contract with Intermountain Power Project in Utah to use its natural gas plant instead.

The city council still has to approve the plan.

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