First off, let us apologize for taking perverse pleasure in watching as Los Angeles City Council members, to borrow a phrase from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, "stepped on a few rakes" in recent days. This week the city let a permanent electricity rate hike -- one the council trumpeted as temporary -- come to fruition. Now council members Janice Hahn and Ed Reyes want the city to cut off all business ties with Arizona over that state's passage of an immigration law that will require people to prove citizenship and allow police to stop people they think are in the United States illegally. It won't be easy.
Problem is, L.A. is almost inextricably tied to Arizona. For example:
-The Department of Water and Power (which must be chuckling right about now) gets some L.A.'s water supply from the Colorado River under a cooperative agreement with Arizona, which has rights to that H2O.
-Arizona-based U.S. Airways has a long-term lease for terminal space at LAX, which is run by the city.
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-Los Angeles has partial ownership of the '70s-era, coal-powered Navajo Generating Station in Arizona, which gives the city a substantial amount of its electricity. (Ironically, Villaraigosa was spinning his mostly defeated DWP rate hikes as a way to ease the city off of coal power and onto things such as solar).
-The city also gets some of its energy via another Arizona plant it partially owns, the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, and relies transmission lines that cross from that state to California.
The resolution by Hahn and Reyes calls for the city to "refrain from conducting business with the state of Arizona including participating in any conventions or other business that requires city resources, unless SB 1070 [the immigration law in question] ... is repealed.''
Sometimes we wonder if the highest-paid municipal body in the country and its six-figure senior staffers read, like, city documents and stuff. At this point, we feel a little bad for Hahn (who's running for Lieutenant Governor) and Reyes. After all, we egged them on.