LA watchdog says coal-free plan to cost $600M

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A city watchdog says Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s plan to reduce the city’s dependence on coal by the middle of the next decade will cost more than $600 million.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Fred Pickel, the ratepayer advocate at the Department of Water and Power, planned to urge officials to look for ways to lower the costs on Wednesday.

A spokesman at the DWP did not return the newspaper’s requests for comment on Pickel’s projections.

The DWP currently gets 40 percent of its energy from coal-fired plants in Utah and Arizona. Last month, the utility voted to use a natural gas plant in Utah instead.

Officials say another plan to sell off the DWP’s stake in the Arizona plant will make the utility coal-free by 2025.

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