In Case You Missed It: Garcetti's Green Deal

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Excerpted from Politico California Playbook, April 30, 2019 

GARCETTI'S GREEN DEAL: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti rolled out a sweeping "Green New Deal Los Angeles" environmental plan Monday, vowing to make the city a national vanguard on climate issues — even as he competed with the chants of a raucous crowd of union protesters who said the effort could sack tens of thousands of blue-collar jobs.

"For those who say wait or go backwards or go slow, I say hell no,'' Garcetti told a crowd of about 200 at Getty House. The plan, which comes just days after President Trump suggested boosting fracking and oil extraction in California, sets a wide range of goals aimed at making Los Angeles a "zero carbon city,'' including getting the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to supply 80 percent renewable energy by 2036.

But the mayor's proposal, while hailed by some environmental groups and city activists on hand, drew a sharp response from union leaders like Robbie Hunter, president of the state Building and Construction Trades Council. More than 100 union members — including members of the Teamsters, pipefitters, boilermarkers and iron workers unions — were out front protesting and disrupting Garcetti's speech.

Hunter argued the plan sets unrealistic goals — including a policy intended to sharply reduce oil and gas production and refining — that will force Los Angeles to import oil, without protecting the thousands of workers in the Southern California industry. "All it does is do what the Democratic Party seems to be very be very good at, which is export our jobs, while doing nothing for the end game, which is the environmental,'' he told POLITICO.

Garcetti said he was sensitive to the concerns about jobs, but he insisted addressing climate change issues with an eye on environmental and economic justice could result in as many as 300,000 new jobs. "This is a generational battle against the old way of doing business, and the new way of doing business," he said.