Time to break L.A.'s dirty energy habit

Last week, an impressive 68% of L.A. residents voted to defeat Dirty Energy’s Prop 23. They spoke up, and California’s clean energy economy won big. Meanwhile, L.A. itself continues to get far more electricity from polluting coal than from any other energy resource. It’s time to put the power of Angelenos toward advancing clean energy in their own backyard – starting with a strong solar program.

With rising electricity needs, a strong environmental community, and plentiful Southern California sunshine, Los Angeles should be a solar powerhouse. Yet in 2009, a whopping 44% of the LADWP’s electricity came from dirty coal. That’s well above the state average. Meanwhile reliable, renewable, homegrown solar energy made up less than 1% of the utility’s generation mix.

We’re so fired up that we brought on a new Vote Solarian to help lead the charge. Meet Alexandra Kravetz, L.A.-based solar advocate extraordinaire. You can reach her at: alexandra@votesolar.org

Alexandra’s not wasting any time. Here are two timely ways to help her help L.A. go solar:

1. Act locally. The Department of Water and Power and your City Councilmembers are deciding the fate of solar in Los Angeles right now. Throughout the proceedings, they’ve been hearing an awful lot from solar’s opponents. We need to drown out the naysayers and get L.A. on a path to clean energy. Anyone living and voting in the City of Angels can speak up by sending City Council a message:

Take Action

It’s high time for Los Angeles to build a strong, sustainable new energy economy. We’re urging the city to move forward with a plan that would put panels on roofs, allow shared solar systems in communities, and get more sunshine onto the utility grid in one fell swoop. We hope you’ll join us.

2. Inspire globally. The U.N. Climate Negotiations kick off in Cancun next month, and our friends at 350.org want to show the world that we’re ready to creatively and collaboratively rise to the global climate challenge. Los Angeles will be one of 15 locations around the planet to create massive climate-inspired art installations. A local artist will use solar panels and thousands of Angelenos to create the image of a giant eagle of energy independence. Satellites will capture the solar-friendly image from space and send the photos back to policymakers and press back here on earth. How cool is that?

WHAT: 350.org‘s eARTh Project – Los Angeles

WHEN: SUNDAY, Nov. 21

WHERE: LA Cornfields Historic State Park 1245 N Spring St

Learn more and RSVP to join in the project here.

Do you live in L.A.? Do you have friends or family in L.A.? Let’s get them involved. Let’s do this. Let’s break L.A.’s dirty energy habit. Let’s start putting that famous Southern California sunshine to work creating new jobs, reliable electricity, and a brighter future.