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Opinion

Readers React: Burn natural gas for power? The DWP should weigh the health costs of climate change and pollution

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The DWP’s natural-gas-powered Scattergood Generating Station in Playa del Rey.
(Reed Saxon / Associated Press)

To the editor: Is it physics or economics that’s behind the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s belief that it may need to refurbish its natural-gas-burning power plants? There’s a disconnect at the heart of DWP’s argument.

According to an article in the L.A. Times, DWP staff claim the “physical reality of the utility’s power grid” makes it impossible to avoid investing billions in fossil fuels. But at the end of the article, DWP General Manager David Wright admits the utility could revisit this conclusion if prices for solar and batteries fall further.

So it’s really a financial issue, not a physics issue. I wonder, though, if DWP is looking only at direct costs or also at the social costs of dirty energy, including all the effects of climate change and air pollution on public health.

It’s hard to believe gas would still come out ahead if all these costs were included.

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Daniel Brotman, Glendale

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