The Los Angeles City Council called Tuesday for the state to use some of its estimated $97 billion budget surplus to increase funding for cities and municipal-owned utilities to expand renewable energy infrastructure.
Council members unanimously passed a resolution — introduced by Councilmen Mitch O’Farrell, Paul Krekorian and Paul Koretz — to seek modifications to the state’s budget to increase funding for cities and municipally owned utilities to expand its investments in decarbonization, electrification and electric vehicle adoptions and infrastructure.
“Unless we speak up now and collaboratively on all of our priorities, this stunning surplus could be allocated for uses that do nothing to supercharge our efforts at transitioning into a 100% carbon-free future, eliminating single-use plastics, tackling our homelessness and affordable housing crises, or helping catapult Los Angeles into an equitable, accessible, world-class public transit city,” said O’Farrell, who chairs of the Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and River committee.
The resolution notes that the state’s draft budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year currently includes about $47 billion in climate investments, including electric vehicle infrastructure and decarbonization for schools and residential and government buildings. The budget must be adopted by June 15.
“The surplus that Sacramento now has in its state budget is greater than the entire budget was when I left the Legislature in 2010,” Krekorian said. “One of the wisest investments that Sacramento could make is in assisting municipalities like ours in building a greener future.”
Last year, the city committed to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2035, but Koretz noted that the city needs help from the state to make it a reality.
“Los Angeles has been leading the way for more than a decade toward carbon neutrality, but it takes more than good policy, it takes funding at a level that we can’t hope to provide. The state is awash in cash and they need to use it to help address our climate emergency that starts in our large urban centers,” Koretz said. “We especially need to focus on building EV charging infrastructure. The automobile industry is telling us that electric vehicles will reach price parity within a year. Added to that, gas price gouging will increase demand for EVs even more. We are far behind having the EV infrastructure we will need to meet that demand, and that will take funding. “