Daily News will also be featuring mayoral candidates and are holding a mayoral candidate forum on Sunday. Here are my answers to the L.A. Times question about Measure B (solar) on the March 3, 2009 ballot.
Solar energy: Q & A with L.A. mayoral candidates
Contestants in the March 3 primary describe their stances on Measure B, a solar energy measure that proposes putting photovoltaic cells on roofs and parking lots across Los Angeles.
By William Nottingham February 13, 2009
Should the city of Los Angeles become a national leader in the generation of renewable solar energy, as a March 3 ballot measure proposes? Or would it be too costly to put 400 megawatts' worth of photovoltaic cells on roofs and parking lots across town?
Times editors recently asked the 10 mayoral candidates about the solar energy charter amendment, Measure B. Here are excerpts of their responses.Do you support Measure B, the city's proposed solar power initiative? Why? How do you believe it will affect Department of Water and Power rates?
David "Zuma Dogg" Saltsburg: "Not only do I not support Measure B, if I have one message to get across to voters this election season, it is please vote "No" on Measure B. The measure was rushed onto the ballot without much discussion or input. It will drive up the cost of DWP rates. I think just about everyone in the city would agree that solar energy is good. But this is an extremely risky plan that reports say may cost at least double the initial proposed cost. It's a blank check for an aggressive plan that DWP is not ready to take on. But the worst part is that it is not really about creating a strategic solar plan for the city. There was no competitive bid for the program. . . . So what I think this is about isn't about solar, but helping the mayor secure his reelection by putting this deal together that is too expensive, too risky, noncompetitive, will drive up DWP rates, takes the solar industry out of private hands and requires blank-check spending."
Antonio Villaraigosa:"Measure B is the first installment of a solar plan that will provide the city of Los Angeles with 400 megawatts of in-basin solar power by 2014. Ultimately this comprehensive plan will provide 1,200 megawatts of solar energy by 2020 -- making Los Angeles the solar capital of the world. Measure B will create thousands of good, middle-class jobs in solar installation and maintenance. It establishes a job-training and outreach academy focusing on job creation in underserved neighborhoods throughout L.A. . . . Measure B also contains strong accountability provisions including annual audits by the city controller and a citizens oversight committee to ensure that this program is developed and implemented in an efficient and transparent manner."
Full Los Angeles Times article with all candidate replies
UPDATE: I would also like to add that I was contacted by a veteran DWP worker who reminded me the DWP infratstructure is absolutely shot, the transformers are shot...one good heatwave, and it will look like the $4 million dollar scene in "Tropic Thunder." (ka-BOOM!) But citywide blackouts are what we are really talking about here. And this is no time to have all these DWP workers moving away from the real task of the dangerous transformer and infrastructure situation, THAT IS GETTING WORSE BY THE DAY, WITH ALL OF VILLARAIGOSA'S MASSIVE HIGH-DENISITY PROJECTS!!! THE CITY IS IN BIG TROUBLE. THE DWP INFRASTRUCTURE CANNOT ACCOMODATE IT ALL...MASSIVE BROWN OUTS THIS SUMMER!!!
And these DWP workers that Villaraiogsa is having be the only workers allowed to install these panels are not experienced in solar panel installation, and I am told it's not the kind of thing you learn to do on a job like this.