In a surprise, support for L.A. solar panel measure fades - LA Times
"The Los Angeles election delivered a few surprises, and the biggest was the weak showing for Measure B, the plan for adding 400 megawatts of solar panels to rooftops and parking lots.
The City Clerk's office reported that 50.3% of voters were rejecting Measure B."
Miracle in LA -- City Hall Political Machine Crashes - Ron Kaye L.A.
"Three months ago we knew it would take a miracle to defeat what was nothing but a scam for City Hall to get its hands on billions of dollars of our money in the name of something everyone wants, has wanted for years, solar energy.
Well, we got our miracle. Measure B lost."
Early Election Results: Mayor Villaraigosa Reelected, Measure B Barely Loses - LAist
"The most heated debate on the ballot was over the controversial Measure B, the solar power/green jobs initiative pushed by Villaraigosa and the union behind the Department of Water and Power. It lost by a slim 1,325 votes, which makes it too hard to call with 100% certainty."
L.A. city elections: Winners and losers - Contra Costa Times
"The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The union representing workers at the Department of Water and Power struggled to secure a victory for Measure B..."
Villaraigosa wins 55% of vote - Contra Costa Times
"Voters also rebuked the mayor with the apparent rejection of the Measure B solar initiative, one of his top issues. The controversial measure fell 322 votes short of approval, although the outcome could change as absentee and provisional ballots are counted."
Los Angeles Solar Measure Falls Behind - Green Inc. Blog
"A controversial ballot measure in Los Angeles to increase solar power installations in the city has fallen behind, and will be rejected unless thousands of late or provisional ballots swing the outcome."
Nahai Defeats Truman: Ooops - Mayor Sam's Sister City
"Hat tap to the awesome Twitters at the now rock star godlike No On Measure B Campaign for a fun tweet:
DEWEY WINS 'Los Angeles Labor, Environmental, Community Leaders Celebrate Passage of Measure.'"
Dewey Defeats Truman
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2009
CONTACT: Sarah Leonard 310-882-6335 -
Ellie Wallace 310-882-6342
Los Angeles Labor, Environmental, Community Leaders
Celebrate Passage of Measure B
Solar plan will create green collar jobs, fight nation's worst air pollution
Coalition: our city works best when we work together
around common sense solutions to our greatest challenges
Los Angeles - Leaders of a broad coalition of Los Angeles environmental, labor, public health, solar industry and community leaders celebrated tonight the passage of Measure B: Green Energy and Good Jobs for Los Angeles by the city's voters. After a two year, grassroots effort to place Measure B on the ballot for voter and ratepayer approval, the LADWP will be required to install 400 megawatts of solar photovoltaic power on city owned and commercial rooftops across Los Angeles by 2014.
"The real winners today are the citizens and ratepayers of Los Angeles. They have voted to continue Los Angeles' long tradition of a publicly owned utility which generates its own power. They recognize that our public owned utility provides safe and reliable power at the lowest rates in the region. And the voters have sent a message that they want their utility to switch to renewable and clean solar energy. This plan will also create a chance for a good, family-supporting careers powering our city and cleaning our air," said Brian D'Arcy, Business Manager of IBEW Local 18 that represents LADWP employees.
"Measure B will provide ratepayers with greater protections, transparency and accountability while helping us to meet the ambitious goals I have set for switching Los Angeles to renewable energy sources. Measure B is the most significant renewable energy initiative in the state and the nation," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, co-chair of the Yes on Measure B Committee.
Measure B was endorsed by a grassroots coalition of environmental, labor, public health, community and solar industry leaders including the Coalition for Clean Air, Sierra Club, California League of Conservation Voters, the Southern Christian Leadership Council, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, Local 112, United Teachers of Los Angeles, the American Lung Association, Solar Integrated, First Solar, Applied Materials, Akeena Solar, and Latino Voters League. For a full list, visit www.GreenEnergyGoodJobsLA.com.
"The Los Angeles environmental community hopes to continue to work with our partners in labor and throughout the community to find more ways to build a stronger, cleaner and greener LA," said Bill Corcoran, Southern California Representative for the Sierra Club. "We've taken big steps together to clean the air around our ports, and now to change the way we power this city. Our city works best when we work together around common sense solutions to our greatest challenges."
D'Arcy, who also co-chairs Working Californians, a local non-profit which advocates for California workers, with Marvin Kropke, Business Manager for IBEW Local 11, led the effort to develop Measure B with input from the environmental, solar industry, labor communities and leaders including dozens of elected and DWP officials. That grassroots effort to require the LADWP to take this bold step toward solar photovoltaic power began two years ago and included many public meetings, discussion, debate and revision before going before the City Council in the fall of 2008 when it gained media attention for the first time.
"LADWP workers and IBEW members played a key role in pushing Measure B forward because we are committed to ensuring our ratepayers continue to enjoy the lowest rates, best service and reliability in Southern California," D'Arcy said. "With Measure B, the ratepayers who own the LADWP will ensure its utility will meet the state requirement for 20 percent of renewable energy generation by 2010 and the city's growing power needs by creating a renewable energy source ratepayers will own. It's just smart policy that puts ratepayers first."
Ratepayer Benefits, a Stronger LADWP
Measure B will protect and empower ratepayers, the owners of the LADWP, with an unprecedented level of accountability and transparency. Best of all, ratepayers will continue to enjoy the lowest rates, best service and reliability in Southern California.
Meeting our renewable energy needs for just $1 a month. According to state law, the LADWP must produce 20 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2010 and 35 percent by 2020, or face steep fines. At the same time, the city of Los Angeles is expected to need an additional 100 megawatts of power each year for the coming years.
The Measure B program will create approximately 100 megawatts of clean solar power each year for five years, meeting ratepayers growing need and avoiding high cost fines from the state. Even further, by installing solar photovoltaic panels on buildings that can use that power, this program produces additional renewable power "off the grid." This means LA's overstrained grid will not be further strained, no additional costly and environmentally sensitive transmission lines will need to be built, and the LADWP ratepayers will own what amounts to the largest solar photovoltaic "power plant" in the United States - all for just an additional dollar each month, continuing to enjoy the lowest rates, best service and reliability in Southern California.
More transparency and accountability than ever before. For the first time ever, ratepayers get a seat at the table to set LADWP policy by voting for Measure B at the ballot box. This is the most sunshine that has ever shone on an LADWP policy decision.
The LADWP will be required to submit their detailed plan to the public for final ratification by the Los Angeles City Council within 90 days of the election, to allow a new Citizen's Advisory Board to watch over the implementation of the plan, and allow the City Controller to conduct an annual public audit.
Economic and Environmental Benefits to Los Angeles
Much like the Obama Administration's economic stimulus package, Measure B will create jobs now while fighting our greatest environmental challenge - global warming.
Measure B will create thousands of green collar jobs in Los Angeles at a time when unemployment has reached 10.5 percent and the U.S. Conference of Mayors predicts another 164,000 jobs lost in the region this year alone.
A job training and outreach program will be established to target the unemployed and underserved in Los Angeles and provide them an opportunity to get a job and learn the skills they need for careers in the new green economy. Officials estimate the LADWP will hire 200-400 additional workers to begin the installation, operation and maintenance of the solar photovoltaic panels. Over the course of the five-year program, nearly 1000 new LADWP workers are expected to be needed. These workers will be hired by the LADWP as daily rate construction workers, signing in as IBEW members for each day they work. The best employees will earn the opportunity to become a member of the union, a professional electrical worker and employee of the LADWP.
Measure B includes an aggressive 30 percent "bid preference" for local solar manufacturers, designed to attract new employers to Los Angeles and make the city the nation's leader in the green economy. Many solar manufacturers endorsed Measure B including First Solar, Applied Materials, Akeena Solar and Solar Integrated. Los Angeles-based Solar Integrated has predicted it will hire 750 additional workers when Measure B passes. Officials estimate thousands of new green collar jobs in the solar industry can be created in Los Angeles, from engineers to lawyers to manufacturers to salespeople.
Fighting the worst air pollution in the nation. The American Lung Association estimates air pollution costs the LA region more than 18,000 lives and $22 billion each year. The ALA's "State of the Air 2008 Report" once again rated the Los Angeles region as the worst in the United States for both smog and long-term soot pollution. The number of days conducive to smog formation is projected to increase 75-85 percent in LA under just a moderate global warming scenario.
Measure B will increase the amount of solar energy produced by the LADWP from 1 percent to 10 percent, eliminating 400,000 tons of greenhouse gases from the air (the equivalent of removing 100,000 cars from the road). This clean power will be produced when power is needed the most - during the hottest times of the day - providing the city a smart, clean alternative to dirty fossil fuel power that saves lives.
What Happens Next
The LADWP will be required to submit their detailed plan to the public for final ratification by the Los Angeles City Council within 90 days of the election. A new Citizen's Advisory Board will form to watch over the implementation of the plan and LA's new City Controller will prepare to conduct an annual public audit of this program to ensure it is implemented efficiently, on time and on budget.
For more information, visit www.GreenEnergyGoodJobsLA.com