(Editor’s Note: Thanks to the strong advocacy of the Natural Resources Defense Council and others in the RePower LA coalition, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has taken important steps towards becoming the greener, more efficient utility that will power the region through the next century. Earlier this summer, the LADWP Board more than doubled its investment in energy efficiency, and it recently followed that by embracing strong principles to guide future policy.)
The resolution commits LADWP to “aggressively promote and achieve energy efficiency across all customer segments and energy end uses as a key part of LADWP’s long-term, supply-side energy procurement strategy.”
What does this mean?
After a 4½ hour hearing, including strong testimony from members of the Don’t Waste LA coalition, the L.A. City Energy & Environment Committee and the Ad Hoc Committee on Waste Reduction & Recycling unanimously approved pushing a policy framework for an exclusive franchise system with strong standards. Yesterday, I posted the testimony I provided at the hearing.
This is a big moment for L.A. waste policy because at the conclusion of the hearing, these committee members determined that an exclusive franchise model has the best likelihood of success to achieve environmental objectives. Despite claims otherwise, after careful deliberation, the committees decided that they want to create a national model for sustainability in the waste collection for multi-family and commercial properties.
Overall, I was happy these council members were not duped by proposals of opponents of strong reform who promised benefits overnight.
The premise behind Proposition 37 is simple: People should have the right to know what is in the food they are buying. This ballot initiative would require the food industry in California to say on labels if the food it sells has been genetically modified. After that, it’s up to the consumer to make a choice.
Over the past week California Right to Know, the group behind Prop 37, has launched some new ads to make its point. And, if the 30-second TV spot below seems a little over the top referencing old chemical and tobacco spin campaigns for Agent Orange, DDT and cigarettes, remember that those first two products were made by the top funders against Prop 37 – Monsanto, Dow Chemical and DuPont.
In recent years, we have seen companies from across the spectrum make green claims. Sometimes they are selling the truth, but often they are simply selling snake oil – like the presentation I heard recently by Athens Services pitching a 30-year rolling contract extension to the West Hollywood City Council.
Athens is one of the region’s largest trash and recycling haulers, but it is hardly an environmental leader. The company’s proposal to West Hollywood for what’s known as a single stream method of waste disposal could produce unacceptably high levels of wet and hazardous wastes that contaminate recyclables. The proposal also lacks accountability measures to track where recyclables are actually going. By contrast, San Francisco, with the highest diversion rates in the country at 77 percent, relies on a source-separated exclusive franchise system with high standards to meet its goals.
Not only is Athens proposing an environmentally dubious solution, it is asking the City of West Hollywood for something it’s fighting tooth and nail against in Los Angeles – a long-term exclusive contract.
As the summer winds down, family barbeques are in full swing and supermarkets are filled with shoppers searching for the right foods to grill up with friends and neighbors.
But do they really know what they’re buying? What they may not know is that Walmart has admitted it will soon start selling agrichemical giant Monsanto’s sweet corn, which has been genetically engineered with an insecticide inside it — not on the corn, but IN it.
Bt toxin works as an insecticide by disintegrating the lining of insects’ stomachs when they chomp on the corn. So what is this doing to the bodies of adults or children who eat the corn? We don’t know.
The genetically engineered sweet corn, which has also been manipulated at the DNA level to withstand pesticides that are sprayed on it, has never been proven safe. The US Food and Drug Administration require no safety testing of genetically engineered foods.