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An electrifying fight: DWP vs. City Council on the carbon surcharge

L.A. City Council fights the DWP surcharge
L.A. City Council fights the DWP surcharge
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

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It was old school city politics last night, as the Department of Water & Power and the L.A. City Council exchanged contentious votes and words over the controversial “carbon surcharge” that would increase DWP electrical rates to fund renewable energy development. Each side rejected the other’s proposal to boost the price of electricity, and by the end of the night the standoff had effectively killed the effort by Mayor Villaraigosa to impose higher rates for the next three months. First the DWP opted for a larger rate increase, defying the City Council’s earlier recommendations for a smaller surcharge; then, only 45 minutes later, the City Council voted unanimously to veto the rate increase and send it back to DWP for more work. City politics aside, what will this ultimately mean for the average DWP customer in L.A.?


Jan Perry, Los Angeles City Councilwoman representing the 9th District; chair of the Council’s Energy & Environment Committee

Matt Szabo, deputy chief of staff to L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Carol Schatz, President & Chief Executive Officer Central City Association and Downtown Center Business Improvement District