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Proposed DWP surcharge sets off sparks—will both the Council & Board of Supes oppose the increase?

Will there be a carbon surcharge?
Will there be a carbon surcharge?
David McNew/Getty Images

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The plan was ambitious but certainly inspiring when it was first announced: Mayor Villaraigosa and other city leaders were committed to generating 20% of the energy used by Los Angeles from renewable, green sources by 2010. But the path to that goal, which according to the Mayor and the Department of Water & Power includes an electric rate hike, has been fraught with controversy and hit one more obstacle yesterday on the City Council. The Council voted unanimously to assert jurisdiction over the DWP’s decision to implement a “carbon surcharge” and plans to conduct a review of the rate increases. This move comes after the L.A. County Board of Supervisors has already voted to oppose the surcharge. The infighting continued when the Mayor’s office threatened that without approval of the surcharge the DWP might renege on its pledge to provide $73 million to the city’s strained general fund. Who will blink first in this heated stand-off?


Jan Perry, Los Angeles City Councilwoman representing the 9th District; Chair of the Energy & Environment Committee

Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles County Supervisor representing the 3rd District

Rhonda Mills, Program Director for the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies