If you were as frustrated as I was watching world leaders dither in Copenhagen while the Earth heats up and island nations continue making evacuation plans, there is good news on the horizon for Austin.
Austin Energy has developed a consensus plan that would establish our own CO2 cap and reduction plan. The great news is that by 2020, Austin’s investments in solar, wind and energy efficiency would allow us to reduce our dependence on the Fayette coal plant by nearly 30 percent! This energy plan will also bring a wide variety of jobs to the city, from innovative clean technology companies to installation, retrofit and construction jobs.
We need support to pass the plan now!
Public Citizen has helped form a coalition called Clean Energy for Austin. We’ve brought together businesses large and small, from Applied Materials to Greenling Organic Delivery, and 12 nonprofits such as the Sierra Club and Environmental Defense Fund to call on City Council to pass the energy plan.
The more individuals and businesses that join the coalition, the stronger the message to City Hall that our world-renowned green city must remain a leader in reducing pollution and creating a green economy.
Some background: This fall, I had the privilege of representing Public Citizen on the city’s task force charged with analyzing Austin Energy’s 2020 plan and making additional recommendations. We voted unanimously to upgrade Austin Energy’s energy efficiency goal, create a special self-sustaining market for local renewable power like solar rooftops and parking lots, and protect consumers’ pocketbooks by conducting periodic reviews in case costs change dramatically.
By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.