Sierra Club Focuses on Dirty Coal Power

Los Angeles has a dirty secret. It gets a disappointingly high 44%
of its power from dirty coal-fired power plants located in Arizona and
Utah, which are among the worst stationary sources of pollution in the
United States. Coal-fired power plants are poisoning the people that
live near them by polluting the air and water. Pollution from coal-fired
power plants is also a major contributor to the potentially catastrophic
climate disruption that may already be intensifying the wildfires and
droughts that directly affect families in Los Angeles. It makes neither
long-term nor short-term economic sense for Los Angeles to continue
exporting our money to out of state coal corporations when we can
instead invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies
that will put thousands of Angelenos to work.

Far from the southern California beaches, the movie studios of
Hollywood, and the Golden Gate Bridge, a fleet of coal plants in distant
western states churn out power for the California market. These coal
plants discharge vast quantities of air pollution, consume huge amounts
of water and emit destructive global warming gases. * Some of the
largest mining operations in the United States tear up the land in the
Southwest to provide the coal they burn. * Every Day, Californians power
from these coal plants is transmitted thousands of miles to customers in
California… while the pollution and environmental disturbances stay
behind, sending a cascade of human health and environmental impacts
across the American West and the globe.

Why not take advantage of the fact that we live in one of the sunniest
places in the world? With the solar and wind potential we see nearly
every day of the year, it is unconscionable to continue getting our
power from a source as dirty and dangerous as coal — especially when
investing in clean and sustainable energy will create green and
sustainable jobs for Angelenos. Investing in energy efficiency and
renewable energy is a solution that benefits the environment,
rate-payers and creates the jobs that will help get our economy back on
track. We have an opportunity right now to begin making the investments
that will move Los Angeles beyond coal, but the City Council needs to
take advantage of the opportunity.

Join us on July 14 to learn more about why solar power makes sense for
Los Angeles: *“Powering Los Angeles into the Future with Solar” *with
photovoltaic expert Joel Davidson. Joel has been a PV consultant to
governments, utility companies, businesses, and homeowners. He is
recognized as one of the founders of the commercial PV industry. Joel
and his wife Fran Orner are the authors of the classic text, “New Solar
Electric Home: The Complete Guide to Photovoltaics for Your Home”, now
in its third edition.

Our speaker will explain why solar energy is the key to getting LA
beyond coal. In November, 2009, Mayor Villaraigosa unveiled his
ambitious “*Solar LA*” plan. The goal is to produce 1,280 megawatts of
power from solar panels, enough power to meet one-tenth of the city’s
energy needs by 2020. The mayor made the announcement at a South Los
Angeles manufacturing plant where solar panels are made. Villaraigosa
said the initiative will help the Department of Water and Power wean
itself off of fossil fuels and make the city a hub of the solar-energy
industry.

After the main presentation, you are invited to stay for a screening of
*Power Paths*, a one-hour documentary film that follows Native American
tribes as they work to bring renewable energy projects into their
communities. From the Sioux of the Great Plains to the Navajo and Hopi
of the Southwest, tribes are fighting to protect their land, air, and
water from the harmful mining and burning of coal on their land. The
Navajo Green Economy Coalition who are featured in the film describe
their ongoing efforts to provide just energy and economic transitions to
their community. After the film, we’ll talk about our effort here to get
LA off coal and into a clean energy future.

The *Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign* is a national effort that aims
to move our economy toward a clean energy future by stopping new
polluting coal-fired plants, phasing out existing plants, and keeping
U.S. coal reserves in the ground and out of international markets.
Thanks in part to the work of the Beyond Coal Campaign, plans for 128
new coal plants have been shelved since the beginning of the coal rush,
keeping more than 530 million tons of carbon dioxide out of the
atmosphere. For more information about the Angeles Chapter’s Beyond Coal
campaign, please visit http://labeyondcoal.org/
*
Event details:* Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 7pm at Culver City Veterans
Memorial Auditorium in the Uruapan Room, 4117 Overland Ave., Culver City
90230. This free educational event is sponsored by the West Los Angeles
Group of the Sierra Club’s Angeles Chapter. Plenty of free lighted
parking. Refreshments are served and there is always a lively talk
accompanying the program. Feel free to bring a friend; all meetings are
open to members and non-members of the Sierra Club.

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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