On June 21, the Summer Solstice, about two hundred people met at Pasadena City Hall to celebrate Pasadena’s commitment to 100% carbon free electric power by 2030.
By Cheryl Auger
Pasadena 100 has been working actively with City Council members and the Pasadena Water and Power’s Stakeholder Technical Advisory Group to look at PW&P’s long range electric power plan for the transition from its current dependence on coal generated electricity. Almost 50% of PWP’s electric power comes from burning coal, in contrast to the California average of 3% coal. This is because PWP is are stuck with a coal contract until 2025. From an environmental justice perspective, dirty coal creates energy for Pasadena in someone else’s backyard. Someone else is stuck with the noxious air pollution that includes sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide and mercury emissions. After 2025, the PWP contract switches to gas, also a greenhouse gas, and then finally expires in 2027. The PWP’s long range plan will shift to carbon free electric power after that.
We need to be thankful to Pasadena 100 for bringing light to this issue and holding Pasadena officials accountable. During the “Let the Sun Shine In” presentation, Dr. Marc Futternick from Physicians for Pasadena 100 spoke about the medical concerns associated with fossil fuels and Cynthia Cannady spoke about her concerns about the energy portfolio and ensuring Pasadena stayed committed to clean energy goals. Coalition members gave sunburst talks on broad topics:
- plastic isinextricably linked to the fossil-fuel economy,
- divesting our personal investments from fossil fuels,
- life on this planetis the only life we know of, let’s not destroy it,
- our children do deserve a future; we have to enable that,
- fossil fuels areindeed a health issue; our values do matter,
- climate action can build a more equitable society;we must persist in the movement,
- choosing how we want to live in our city; clean transportation and clean energymake for quality of life,
- it is about democracy, it is social justice; just plain fairness and common sense,
- we can solve this by new technology but not withoutconservation, and
- yes, nonviolent civil disobedience isan option in this struggle!
Former Mayor Rick Cole spoke about the inaction of our CIty Leaders; we need and expect more than “crickets” from our leaders. He asked for an accountable city government that listens to, responds to, and cares about its people, and he urged us to keep our voices strong in the face of silence until we succeed.
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