08/20/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Next Great Challenge

40 years ago today, scientists at NASA did what most thought was only a fleeting dream -- they put a man on the moon. Thanks to their hard work and dedication, the dream became a reality. In the years that followed, NASA continued to dream big, achieve their goals and amaze the world.

It was only fitting, then, that today I signed a partnership agreement between NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to explore ways to decrease water usage, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and stimulate green job growth in Los Angeles.

You see, the next great hurdle we face, the next dream we must make a reality, is combating climate change. We must work together to combat climate change head-on and reverse its course. If we do not, there might not be a planet left for our future generations.

Here in LA, we are taking the lead on this and working to become the center for climate change and clean technology research and innovation. We've already put LA on a path to permanently break our addiction to coal by 2020; to get 40 percent of our power from renewable sources by the end of next decade; and to make our City plug-in ready and transform Los Angeles into the production and market capital of the electric car.

But there is much to be done, and with JPL's help, I am confident that Los Angeles will be leading the charge for innovative solutions to climate change. Working with the LADWP, the nation's largest municipal water and electric utility, JPL will work to provide a pipeline for energy and water solutions. The two organizations will collaborate on developing a national model for forward-thinking water and energy solutions; they will use the LADWP as a test bed for cutting edge technologies, including demonstrations and technology assessment; and through information sharing, create best practices that can be used around the world.

We are setting the stage to be at the forefront of the clean tech revolution that will drive the new, green economy and relegate global warming to the prologue of the Great Book on America in the 21st Century.

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