05/10/2010 03:17 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Investing in Our Renewable Future

Today, standing under the sun-filled skies of Los Angeles, a large coalition of business, labor, and environmental leaders launched a renewable energy plan that will change the way we achieve our green energy goals.

We unveiled our Carbon Reduction Surcharge proposal that will raise close to $170 million for investment in green energy and energy efficiency programs. Every penny will be placed into a Renewable Energy and Efficiency Trust Fund - a lock-box that will not only provide dedicated revenue for clean energy, but create a level of transparency and accountability that has been missing.

For the first time, Angelenos will know exactly how much they are investing and exactly what they are getting for their investment. The Carbon Surcharge will be added to a new rate structure at our Water and Power department. Because the price of energy has been rising, our Water and Power department needs a significant rate increase to keep the lights on and to get out of a financial hole. But raising rates only to continue to invest in dirty fossil fuels that we know are only going to become more scarce and more expensive makes no sense.

Our new rate structure will include the Carbon Reduction Surcharge to begin to wean Los Angeles from its dependence on fossil fuels. The good news is that for the majority of ratepayers, the monthly bill will only increase by roughly $2.50-$3.50. Efficient users will pay less. Wasteful users will pay more.

Our renewable plan will be the cleanest, greenest, most transparent jobs program in the country. This is an unprecedented, crucial step towards addressing both the long-term crisis of climate change and our dependence on fossil fuels, and the short-term crisis of this recession and the dire need to create jobs in Los Angeles.

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