Following in the footsteps of other cities around the world, Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a plan to make the city coal-free by 2025. Los Angeles relies on two aging out-of-state coal plants for about 40 percent of its energy needs right now — a position that is unsustainable both in terms of financial cost and cost to the environment. But if the past is any indication, getting there isn’t going to be easy.

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When Villaraigosa took office for a second term in 2009, he announced plans to eliminate coal power by 2020. But political battles and maneuvering in the Department of Water and Power delayed progress. This renewed effort will help Los Angeles lead the way away from dirty coal. The news was justifiably greeted with applause from the large audience in attendance.

Right now, the city gets its coal from two major plants: the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona and the Intermountain Power Plant in Utah, the latter of which contributes about two-thirds of Los Angeles’ coal power. Both plants are decades old and costly to maintain, but despite that, the coal power produced by these plants remains cheaper than renewable alternatives.

Agreements haven’t been signed yet, nor has a formal announcement been made, and Los Angeles will have to work out existing contracts between the Navajo plant and IPP. But the announcement marks a step in the right direction that cities across the US should look to emulate.

via Clean Technica

images from vxla and Wikimedia Commons