A demonstration in Glendale in 2019: The movement for clean energy in Glendale and NELA has grown larger and more impassioned as climate change has worsened. | Photo by Bill Hendrickson/Boulevard Sentinel

Another chance to stop Glendale from polluting the air in NELA

2022 Editions Health March More News Politics

By T.A. Hendrickson

In a tactical victory for clean-energy advocates in Glendale and Eagle Rock, the Glendale City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to delay the purchase of five new gas engines for the Grayson power plant in Glendale.

The delay, until the end of 2022, will buy Glendale time to explore clean-energy alternatives to gas for meeting its future energy needs.

The vote to delay was supported by 77 people who called into the City Council meeting on Tuesday; only 12 callers wanted to get on with a gas re-powering of Grayson.

“The climate emergency is a clear and present danger, and the public is demanding we do better,” said Glendale Councilmember Dan Brotman, who introduced the motion to delay, in a statement to the Boulevard Sentinel. 

The plan to ‘do better’ is only beginning to take shape, but if it works out, it could benefit both Glendale and the L.A. neighborhoods near Glendale, particularly Eagle Rock.

Here’s the state of play:

In a letter on Feb. 11 to the Glendale City Council, L.A. Councilmembers Kevin de León (CD 14), Mitch O’Farrell (CD 13) and Nithya Raman (CD 4) urged Glendale to postpone action on its plans for gas-powered plants at both Grayson and Scholl Canyon in the hills above Eagle Rock. In their letter, they pointed out that the plants would pollute the air in L.A. neighborhoods and be a step backward in the fight against climate change.

In exchange for putting Grayson and Scholl Canyon on hold, the L.A. councilmembers pledged to “strongly encourage” the L.A. Department of Water and Power to have “very serious” discussions with Glendale Water and Power (GWP) about ways to meet Glendale’s energy needs without new gas-powered facilities.

To foster agreements between LADWP and GWP, they specifically asked Glendale to postpone entering into long-term contracts at this time for fossil fuel energy at Grayson and Scholl Canyon. 

That request has been met for now: The vote in the Glendale City Council on Tuesday will hold up the contract for gas engines at Grayson and as of Mar. 2, GWP has not entered into any long-term contracts to build the gas plant at Scholl Canyon, according to a GWP spokesperson.

When LADWP and GWP sit down for talks, the practical issue will be how to keep Glendale adequately supplied with power while it develops clean-energy alternatives to gas-fired plants. Glendale expects to generate 93 megawatts from burning gas at Grayson and 12 megawatts from burning gas at Scholl Canyon.  

The letter from De León, O’Farrell and Raman addresses that issue directly: “We understand Glendale is searching for approximately 100 megawatts of energy for the remainder of the decade,” says the letter. “We are confident that GWP and LADWP can reach a series of agreements to avoiding having to backtrack on our climate goals while offering your constituents reliable cost-effective energy they’re entitled to.”

That sounds like a good starting point and De León, for one, is ready to move ahead: “I applaud Glendale’s decision to continue exploring alternatives to fossil fuels to power their city,” he told the Boulevard Sentinel. “As neighbors, our constituents already are forced to endure too much dirty air. Now is the time to redouble efforts to identify real solutions to protect the air we all breathe.”

Let the negotiations begin.

T.A. Hendrickson
T.A. Hendrickson, a native of Eagle Rock, is the editor of the Boulevard Sentinel and a former member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times.

7 thoughts on “Another chance to stop Glendale from polluting the air in NELA

  1. Thank you for the article! Grateful that LA City Council Members are taking an active role in this situation.

  2. Great article to clarify the power situation in Glendale and the neighborhoods. I am glad that Dan Brotman’s motion passed
    Unanimously and this should propel GWP to put efforts in a major clean energy alternative.

    1. Lia Caprara, agreed! And keep Power Plants off of hillsides in an area the State deems a “Very High Fire Hazard Zone”, in very close proximity to homes, schools, hospitals, elderly care facilities, etc. Glendale should use existing infrastructure to process what little methane will be left from Scholl Landfill, prevent a permanent power plant from being build there, close the landfill as it reaches capacity and fulfill the agreement terms to build an outdoor recreation area for public use. Enough is enough–Glendale must prioritize the health and well-being of its residents and those in surrounding neighborhoods. Glad that LA City Council is seeing the light and trying to communicate with Glendale to negotiate a better solution to Glendale’s Electricity needs/wants.

  3. Excellent article! Also, as you probably know, the Glenoaks Canyon Homeowners Association is leading the charge with a legal action against this power plant. But we need the support of everyone in the community. Please contribute to our legal fund in this battle to keep our hillsides, our health and our homes safe for our children. Thank you!

Comments are closed.