LA Carbon Reduction Surcharge March 23, 2010 : 1:15 PM

For years, I have been fighting to solve the climate crisis, strengthen our national security and revitalize our economy.

The State of California, and especially the City of Los Angeles, have always been strong partners in bringing about this green revolution. Los Angeles is uniquely positioned to lead this revolution and address the causes of climate change because, unlike other cities, they own and operate their own utility. So they have the power to decide to green their power system by reforming their utility.

And last week, that is exactly what they did.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles has introduced one of the most forward-thinking clean energy plans I have ever seen. He's calling it a Carbon Reduction Surcharge. It allocates a portion of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's rate collection into a trust fund to create a renewable energy and efficiency trust fund to invest in clean, green energy and job creation.

This innovative proposal can be the catalyst the Department of Water and Power needs to power Los Angeles' use of green energy. The Carbon Reduction proposal provides a dedicated revenue stream for investing in renewable energy production. And this investment will lower greenhouse gas emissions while enabling the City of Los Angeles to invest locally its own green economy and stimulating job creation exactly when Los Angeles needs it most.

I hope the Los Angeles City Council supports this Carbon Reduction proposal. Los Angeles' efforts and the Mayor's leadership in fighting for and investing in America’s clean energy future should be applauded.