The City Council meeting of August 12, 2019 opened up some future space for electric vehicles and closed the door on an effort to keep Natural Gas in the city’s future with a ‘Balanced Energy Solution.’
While the city’s buses and trash trucks are currently run on natural gas, the mounting concerns about the danger of storing natural gas have led to a push to replace natural gas with renewable electric energy.
A scheduled presentation by a group called Californians for Balanced Energy Solutions lauded the city’s service fleet, and noted the buses running on ‘clean natural gas’ as evidenced by the lettering on the side. Strangely, CBE also presented the erroneous idea that solar and wind were unreliable energy sources. A request to be considered for a future agenda was denied by Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells, saying “After Aliso Canyon, I’m not at all interested in promoting natural gas.”
The audience in the chambers applauded.
The Los Angeles County Electric Bus and Truck Coalition coalition spoke to items not on the agenda in support of electrifying the bus and truck fleet, and urged city leaders to commit to 100% zero-emission refuse trucks in its city-owned and operated fleet by 2035. The council agreed to adding a potential commitment to zero-emissions buses and trucks to a future meeting agenda.
The coalition is focusing its efforts on refuse trucks because “the refuse truck fleets currently in operation are dangerously outdated. Powered by dirty fossil fuels like diesel and natural gas, these refuse trucks are largest and most polluting vehicles in many neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County.”
With Sonia Karroum, a representative of the Sister City Committee, asking the council to consider donating a trash truck to the Sister City of Uruapan, Mexico, the update could be a win-win. Sending a used vehicle to a community in need of more service trucks, and replacing it with an electric truck could be a ‘reuse and recycle’ victory on all sides.
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