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L.A. City Controller Laura Chick opposes solar energy plan

February 5, 2009 |  1:27 pm

Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick formally came out today against the solar energy plan known as Measure B, saying the proposal was rushed through the City Council without sufficient review.

Chick noted with dismay that there are two reports with widely divergent cost estimates for Measure B, which would add 400 megawatts of solar panels to parking lots, rooftops and other surfaces by 2014.

“I will be voting no on Measure B because I think the entire process of how it ended up on the ballot stinks,” she said.

Chick made her remarks as she unveiled a 223-page report on the Department of Water and Power, the municipal utility that would implement Measure B. That report said the DWP has not determined how much more the utility’s ratepayers would have to pay to cover the cost of the DWP’s shift to solar, wind and geothermal energy.

Proponents of Measure B, who attended the briefing, said the solar plan received plenty of vetting, with the first meeting held by civic leaders -– labor unions, business groups and environmental organizations -– on Feb. 29, 2008.

“There has never been anything hidden about this,” said Bob Cherry, a spokesman for Working Californians, an advocacy group headed by officials with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the DWP’s employee union, that proposed the solar plan.

-- David Zahniser