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How viable is a plan to phase out three LA natural gas power plants?

The Scattergood Power Plant operates after sunset on November 29, 2006 in El Segundo, California.
The Scattergood Power Plant operates after sunset on November 29, 2006 in El Segundo, California.
David McNew/Getty Images

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Monday that the city will no longer pursue plans to fund the rebuilding of three natural gas power plants along the state’s coast.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Garcetti’s decision is an attempt to inch the city towards its 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2045. Environmental groups have argued that rebuilding the plants would conflict with that goal. The facilities in question are the Scattergood, Harbor and Haynes plants. Scattergood and Harbor are located in areas where pollution is among the worst rated in the state.

But not rebuilding the plants is a sharp turn for the Department of Water and Power, which has argued that they are essential to powering L.A. Critics of phasing out the facilities have said that other sources of renewable energy will not be sufficient to keep up with the on-demand power of natural gas. There’s also a question of cost when considering alternative sources of energy and the question still remains of whether the public will be asked to pay more for cleaner power alternatives.

Larry speaks to both sides of this environmental debate today, for a look at what alternatives could be brought to the table in lieu of natural gas at these plants.

We invited the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to participate in our conversation but they were not able to make anyone available for us at the time we requested.


Ethan Elkind, director of the Climate Program at Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at UC Berkeley; he also leads the Climate Change and Business Research Initiative on behalf of UC Berkeley and UCLA

Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association