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City Council Recommends Electric Rate Hikes

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After an intensely heated debate at the L.A. City Council today, councilmembers approved a recommendation to modify Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's carbon surcharge plan, which in part would steer the Los Angeles Department of Power & Water to use more energy from renewables instead of coal. Under the recommendation, residents would pay 25% less than originally sought--around 4.5% and business 5% to 6%. The proposal now must be taken up by the Board of Water & Power Commission.

One of many people who stood up in support of the carbon surcharge astutely pointed out that "this rake hike is essential to educating people the value of energy in this city." While most everyone who spoke today agreed with the notion of going green, it was the the plan behind it.

"If you believe in cleaning our air and reducing our carbon footprint, that is not in this proposal," Councilman Greig Smith expressed with a raised voice, pointing out that the plan doesn't include reducing the use of coal. "We're just buying some other stuff."