LA Finds a Better Way to Power the Future

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa explains how his city has already moved toward natural gas powered buses and other vehicles.

 

MSNBC TRANSCRIPT:

>>> someone else into the conversation. one of the president’s goals today was —

>> we’ve got to discover and produce cleaner renewable sources of energy, but also produce less carbon pollution, which is threatening our climate. we’ve got to do it quickly.

>> well, there are parts of america where that transition is already happening. most prominently southern california and los angeles. mayor villaraigosa joins us. he’s already moved to vehicles in his city. mr. mayor, tell us exactly what you have done.

>> in our city and county, we have the cleanest fuel fleet in the world. the largest clean fuel fleet in the world, 100% cng. i just put a motion across to go to zero emissions so that our new purchases will be zero emissions buses. in the city of los angeles, in our department of water and power, we use about 20% of our fuel sources, our alternative fuels, and very importantly we’re conserving 19 times the energy we used to five years ago.

>> wow. what has it done to the smog problem in a town that’s probably the most famously smoggy town in america?

>> it’s still famously smoggy, which is why the president’s speech today was music to my ears. certainly very important goal for us to move away from our over-reliance on foreign oil, to move away to capture new energy sources, so as you say, use the technology we have now, develop new technologies, create green jobs of the future, and we’re focused on that in los angeles precisely because, for a los angeles long time we’ve been a city at the top when it comes to dirty air we have a plan to double our rail system, we want to take that plan national, an effort to really accelerate investment in infrastructure, particularly in public transit.

>> who is paying for it?

>> locality would pay for it, and the federal government would loan and/or bon bond, krael — this is a great way for us to invest in public transportation, reduce our carbon footprint. in l.a. alone it would reduce our carbon footprint by 500,000 pounds a year, save 10 million gallons of gas a year.

>> it’s one thing to be able to transition a city like yours, you’ve got a centralize the fueling station for the garb an trucks, for the buses. you can fuel them up there. how do we get from municipal transportation like what you have to get natural gas or other alternative fuels to truck stops like the one i’m at across this country? today we’re at 20%. the fact is that working with the federal government, if president obama could get bipartisan support for this new energy security policy that takes us away from an overreliance on foreign oil, ke with create smart grid smgs, invest and incentivize cities, counties and stays to do more in terms of greening the planet, but importantly developing the technology and the jobs that come with it.

>> i was taking to brad carson before you joined us, swe love to talk about the millions and billions, we only have a few in the trillions. military, health care, national defense. do you agree that energy has the most capital now?

>> i agree it’s the area where there’s the greatest toont. i’d like to see more bipartisan support for what president obama articulated today. the fact is, every president, democrat and republican over the last four decades have talked about our addiction to oil we’ve got to develop our energy sources here, whether it’s wind or solar, biomatt or some of the other sources that the president talked about today. there’s a way to do that.

>> yeah, listen, mr. mayor, we congratulate you on leading the way. obviously you had a compelling region. and the incredible population you’re dealing with. we compliment you on your efforts.