A recent poll shows that voters are more inclined to vote for a candidate that voted for the Federal climate change and renewable energy legislation than for those who didn’t. This is interesting in a time in which many conservative groups are advocating that climate change is a hoax and humans don’t need to intervene to save the planet. Or, that (even worse) voters just know.. they just KNOW that policies like cap and trade are just a hidden energy tax and they won’t tolerate it at the ballot box.
This poll should be eye-opening to many of the Texas local and federal candidates (and it is worth noting that both of the competitive US House races in Texas are ones where the incumbent voted NO on the American Clean Energy and Security Act). Even more surprising, very few candidates campaign on clean energy in a state where energy makes a great deal of the revenue. And despite how much the governor boasts about Texas leading in renewable energy, Texas is falling behind to a couple of other states, notably California.
Last month, Bill White, gubernatorial candidate, announced his energy plan and he explicitly said that clean energy (solar in particular) will be the future of Texas.
Texas can remain the energy capital of the world if we lead in new energy development. That’s why we must educate Texans for high-demand, high-paying clean energy jobs, promote job growth in construction and manufacturing, and invest in science and technology research,” said Bill White in a speech in Lubbock last month.
Mark Strama, who is running for re-election for his seat in the Texas House of Representatives, has been airing a campaign ad where he says “For the past hundred years, Texas has prospered as the leader of energy, but promising new energy technologies are being developed in other states and other countries.” Strama, who chairs the Technology, Economic Development & Workforce Committee, introduced a couple of green bills in the last legislative session and it looks like he will continue this effort during the forthcoming session. Yesterday, he facebooked about “a promising development” of a Bastrop clean energy park.
On the Congressional level, Representative Charlie Gonzalez includes clean energy and climate change on his legislative agenda. According to his website, in order to “address threats faced to our country and our planet by climate change, America needs an energy policy that relies on resources that are both clean and efficient.” Gonzalez points out that the issue of climate change is tied to the nation’s energy policy.
Texas needs more politicians to come out for renewable energy and those who tell their constituents that it doesn’t create more jobs and revenue for the state, they are simply ignoring the facts facts. According to a recent report, a robust renewable energy market in Texas can create as many as 23,000 jobs and almost 3 billion in revenue every year for the next 10 years. Strama is right, Texas does have a future in renewables and it is time for Texas politicians to “put solutions above ideology and Texas above politics.”
* Public Citizen does not endorse any political candidate and/or party. Nothing in this opinion blog ought to be construed as an endorsement of any kind. The author’s words are his own.
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.