Posted in Energy, geothermal, renewable portfolio standard, Renewables, solar, Texas Legislature, wind, tagged Clean Energy, Energy, geothermal, geothermal energy, green jobs, Public Citizen, public citizen texas, rafael anchia, renewable energy, Renewables, solar, solar energy, solar power, Texas, texas house, wind, wind energy, wind power on February 8, 2013 |
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Two bills have now been filed in the Texas House that would expand the state’s goals for renewable energy. Representative Rafael Anchia‘s bill, HB 723, would establish goals for growing renewable energy installations other than large-scale wind through 2022. Similarly, Representative Eddie Rodriquez‘s bill, HB 303, would establish a goal for solar installations and increase the existing goal (which was met 15 years ahead of schedule) for all renewable energy for 2020.
We applaud these efforts and the leadership that Rep. Anchia and Rep. Rodriquez are showing by filing these bills. These proposals recognize that success is a good thing and something we want more of. You wouldn’t think that would need saying, but when a state agency recommends tossing out a successful policy, I start to wonder. Texas’s renewable energy goals have been extraordinarily successful. Not only have the goals been met ahead of time, but they have spurred development of the wind industry in Texas, bringing economic benefits to rural parts of West Texas, as well as to manufacturing centers. On top of that, wind energy is helping to keep electric bills lower.
A carpenter doesn’t throw away her hammer just because she finished building her first book shelf and Texas shouldn’t repeal it’s renewable energy policies, just because we’ve met some of our goals (remember, the non-wind goal was never enforced). Wind energy does now makes a substantial contribution to meeting the state’s electrical needs – it contributed a record 26% this past Christmas day, but solar energy is still very underutilized (accounting for less than 1% of energy on the ERCOT grid, which serves 85% of the Texas population) and the geothermal energy industry is still getting off it’s feet. As Rep. Anchia and Rep. Rodriquez’s bills show, this successful policy tool can be adjusted to keep moving Texas forward.
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Posted in Consumers, Energy, geothermal, green jobs, renewable portfolio standard, Renewables, solar, tagged Clean Energy, CPS Energy, geothermal, geothermal energy, green jobs, Public Citizen, public citizen texas, renewable energy, Renewables, SEED Coalition, Sierra Club, solar, solar power, Texas on September 13, 2012 |
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Yesterday, Clean Energy Works for Texas – a coalition consisting of Public Citizen, Sierra Club, Texas BlueGreen Apollo Alliance, Progress Texas, Clean Water Action, Environment Texas, North Texas Renewable Energy Group, North Texas Renewable Energy Inc., SEED Coalition, Solar Austin, Solar San Antonio, Texas Campaign for the Environment and Texas Pecan Alliance – filed a petition with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) asking for a rule-making to implement the non-wind renewable portfolio standard (RPS).
A law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2005 established that at least 500 megawatts (MW) of the electricity used in Texas would come from renewable energy sources other than wind by 2015. The PUC, however, has failed to establish rules to ensure that this goal is reached. Clean Energy Works for Texas calls on the PUC to fulfill its statutory duty and create rules to ensure that the goal is reached. The petition also proposes and expansion of that goal to 3,000 MW by 2025.
The non-wind RPS would provide a level of certainty for investors considering Texas for clean energy projects. While the wind industry has thrived in Texas, thanks, at least in part, to the RPS, other renewable energy industries have lagged behind. Implementation of the non-wind RPS would send a signal to investors that Texas is open for business. At at time when nearly a million Texans are looking for work, developing 21st century industries here in Texas should be a priority.
Texas has immense solar resources, as well as substantial geothermal resources that, if developed, could be providing the State with additional electricity that it needs. Electricity market regulators and policy-makers have had numerous discussions about electricity generation shortages over the past year. The petition filed by Clean Energy Works for Texas offers a solution – and it’s one that can be expanded upon in the coming years.
Please visit www.CleanEnergyWorksForTexas.org to learn more and send an email to to the PUC in support of the non-wind RPS.
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Posted in Global Warming, tagged AGUA, cancer, Clean Water Action, CPS, Energia Mia, Energy Efficiency, environment texas, genetic damage, geothermal, green jobs, Highland Hills and Jefferson Heights Neighborhood Associations, Nuclear Power, nuclear reactors, Project Verde, Public Citizen, renewable energy, San Antonio, San Antonio Area Progressive Action Coalition, SEED Coalition, solar, South Texas Project, Southwest Workers’ Union, STP, Texas, the Alamo Group of the Sierra Club, the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, the Green Party, the Texas Drought Project, wind on September 9, 2009 |
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Hey San Antonio! There will be a protest against nuclear power tomorrow at lunchtime downtown outside of City Hall. Join us and the rest of the Energia Mia coalition and make your voice heard! Details below.
WHAT: Protest against CPS Energy’s pursuit of more nuclear reactors at the South Texas Project. Not only is nuclear power the most expensive form of energy, it’s the most water intensive and it comes with enormous security, safety and health risks.
WHEN: Thursday, September 10th, Noon
WHERE: 114 W. Commerce, Outside of the Municipal Plaza Building, City Hall Complex
WHO: Concerned students, Members of Energia Mia and others.
Energia Mia includes members active in Southwest Workers’ Union, the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, Project Verde, the Alamo Group of the Sierra Club, Highland Hills and Jefferson Heights Neighborhood Associations, AGUA, the Texas Drought Project, the Green Party, San Antonio Area Progressive Action Coalition, Public Citizen, SEED Coalition, Environment Texas and Clean Water Action.
WHY: Nuclear reactors come with serious health and safety risks. Exposure to radioactivity leads to cancer and genetic damage and after fifty years there is still no solution to storing radioactive waste. San Antonio needs drinking water. Vast quantities of water should not be wasted to cool nuclear reactors. Safer, more affordable energy choices exist today.
Spending billions of dollars for nuclear reactors is throwing money away that should be used for energy efficiency and renewable solar, wind and geothermal power, creating green jobs in San Antonio. Nuclear power would raise electric rates much more than other energy options, at a time when people are already struggling to pay their bills. The nuclear reactors should be halted now.
For More Information, Contact: Alice Canestaro, Energía Mía (713.480.8013) or Amanda Hoss, Esperanza Peace and Justice Center (210.228.0201)
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Posted in Energy, Renewables, tagged biomass, Clean Energy, distributed solar, geothermal, public citizen texas, renewable energy, renewable portfolio standard, sb 541, senator watson, solar, texas house, texas senate, Twitter, utility scale solar on May 13, 2009 |
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Yesterday afternoon the Texas Senate passed through SB 541, a bill authored by Senator Kirk Watson (D-Austin) to create a non-wind renewable portfolio standard. If passed through the House, SB 541 would put Texas on course to have 1500 MW of renewable energy from non-wind sources such as solar, geothermal, and biomass.
If you follow us on Twitter, of course this is old news to you. Public Citizen Texas has been using our Twitter feed to keep folks updated on breaking legislative news and votes, as well as to share interesting news articles and blog posts. Check it out:
If this sounds appealing to you, why not give us a follow? We promise not to tweet your ear off.
Thanks to Senator Watson’s SB 541, Texas could become a national leader in solar energy just as are in the wind industry. Along with Senator Fraser’s 545, which will provide $500 million in solar incentives over the next 5 years, SB 541 will ensure that incentives are provided for both the large, utility scale solar and small-scale distributed solar that Texas needs.
While we would have preferred a larger renewable portfolio standard, Public Citizen is delighted that this bill has passed the Texas Senate. This is a major step forward for Texans that will create tens of thousands of new clean green jobs within the state and lead to lower electric bills by hedging against the price of natural gas.
Hopefully the Texas House will see the light on solar power and pass an even stronger set of renewable energy goals that will make the grass grow greener, our air cleaner, and the green economy stronger.
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Posted in Coal, Global Warming, Toxics, tagged Air Quality, carbon cap, Carbon Dioxide, Clean energy corps, climate change, Coal, Congress, Department of Energy, geothermal, global climate treaty, green jobs, greenhouse gas, house of representatives, obama, powershift 09, Public Citizen, renewable energy, Renewables, senate, solar power, stimulus package, student activists, washington dc on March 12, 2009 |
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In the fight for a greener future, America’s youth has and is continuing to be one of the strongest forces. Recently, I participated in Powershift 2009–the largest summit on climate and energy in United States’ history. Roughly 12,000 attended the conference, and the overwhelming majority of participants were students from high schools and colleges spanning across the nation!
The conference began Friday, and provided endless opportunities for attendees to experience environmentally-geared panels, workshops, movies, speakers, and state breakouts until Sunday. The amalgamation of these informative and inspirational activities worked as a preface that ultimately led to Powershift’s climax that Monday–lobby day. Despite the untimely blizzard-like weather that stormed DC right before that Monday, thousands of youth still trudged through snow and sleet to capitol hill. That day, March 2nd, proved the be the largest lobby day for climate and energy in US history. Senators and representatives from all fifty states were successfully lobbied, with a total of 350 lobby visits! For any of you who are glad that some federal lobbying was completed for your interests, here is the platform that Powershifters presented to US senators and representatives:
1. Cut Carbon Emissions
- Reduce global warming pollution by the targets science tells us are necessary: 25%-40% below 1990 levels by 2020; and 80%-95% below 1990 levels by 2050.
- Set an aggressive cap on carbon immediately. If a cap-and-auction mechanism is chosen, 100% of pollution allowances must be auctioned. Any revenue generated from this cap must be used to address the climate crisis in a just and equitable way; none of this money should go to polluting industries.
- Conserve and restore the world’s forest, ecosystems, and carbon sinks, which are the best natural defense in a warming world.
2. Invest in a Green Economy
- Create 5 million new jobs through investments in clean energy.
- Develop a “Clean Energy Corps” to create service, training, and job opportunities in the clean energy economy (1).
- Train a generation of workers and volunteers to build our clean energy future and help communities adapt to the already changing climate.
3. Power Our Future with Clean Energy, not Dirty Fuels
- We see a future powered by clean, renewable energy like wind, solar, and geothermal; 100% of our electricity should come from these sources, and we should invest in sustainable transit and energy efficiency.
- End our dependence on dirty energy by enacting a moratorium on financing and development of new coal and nuclear plants, and oil shale and tar sands infrastructure.
- Immediately begin phasing out dirty and dangerous energy sources and methods of extraction, while also ensuring a just transition for affected workers and communities.
4. Lead the World to a Clean and Equitable Energy Future
- Work with other nations to reach a strong new global climate treaty in Copenhagen that puts us on track to reduce carbon below 350 parts per million.
- Assist vulnerable communities and developing countries in the transition to low-carbon economies and with adaptation to the changing climate.
This was the type of rhetoric left at the nation’s capitol a week ago, and such requests likely still serve as hot topic points in DC. As a voice of Powershift, and the young environmentalists of this nation, this is the direction we want to see our federal government take now, and in the future. And let me assure you, the overwhelming feeling in Washington experienced by many of the Powershifters is that this direction is highly achievable, at least, more so than ever before in our nation’s history!
(1) The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP15 in Copenhagen.
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