LA Looks At Launching Its Own Green New Deal

Morning rush hour traffic makes it’s way along US 101 near downtown Los Angeles,
Nov. 15, 2016 . (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

LOS ANGELES (CN) – Taking a cue from the national stage, the Los Angeles City Council moved Tuesday to develop its own Green New Deal to mirror the proposed federal stimulus program to address climate change.

The City Council asked several municipal agencies to put together a framework to address the lofty goals set out by the national Green New Deal, including getting all the nation’s power through renewable energy by 2035.

Previously, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Los Angeles would be carbon neutral by 2050. Earlier this year, Los Angeles fortified this claim when it announced it would not spend billions of dollars to retrofit three aging coastal power plants.

In its own deal, Los Angeles aims to cut in half what it calls burdens that residents have faced as the city has grown over the years, including traffic noise, pollution and other health dangers. Affected communities include the Wilmington neighborhood, which is adjacent to the Port of Los Angeles and is inundated by oil drilling operations and freight traffic.

These types of hazards have been the reality for lower-income communities where predominantly people of color live, according to the City Council’s development plan.

Over the next decade, Los Angeles will create a $100 million program aimed at transforming communities like the East San Fernando Valley and East and South LA. 

“I have spent my entire career fighting against the injustices in our community to leave our children with a cleaner environment than the one I inherited,” said Councilwoman Nury Martinez, who represents the San Fernando Valley. “Historically, when we have talked about green energy innovation, we have forgotten to include the very frontline communities that stand to benefit most.

“It is called environmental justice for a reason. By starting in our most burdened communities, from Sun Valley to Wilmington, we are finally living up to the name,” she added.

Martinez made the initial motion to develop the Green New Deal for Los Angeles. The City Council unanimously approved the plan.

The Green New Deal was developed in 2006 by the Green Party, but revived recently by freshman U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., last year. The proposal has become a partisan issue with its aims to end all fossil fuel extraction operations throughout the country.

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