Posted in Air Quality, Consumers, Efficiency, Energy, Renewables, solar, Texas Legislature, tagged Air Quality, California, Energy Efficiency, PACE, PACE financing, property assessed clean energy, Public Citizen, public citizen texas, renewable energy, Renewables, solar, solar power, Texas Legislature, texas senate, Wyoming on April 1, 2013 |
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You may have never heard of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), but it has the potential to make a huge difference in adoption of distributed renewable energy systems, such as rooftop solar installations. PACE allows businesses to borrow money from local governments to work on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the buildings they occupy.
Since PACE is funding is loans, there is no real expense to the taxpayer. On the other side of the coin, it allows businesses to spread out the costs of becoming more environmentally friendly over time, all while lowering their monthly utility costs. This strategy is a win-win-win for Texans. Business save money, the environment benefits, and it cost Texans nothing.
The Texas Legislature is currently considering legislation that would move PACE forward for our state. Senate bill 385 has already cleared the hurdle of the Texas Senate, and now is pending in our House of Representatives. House bill 1094 is still waiting be voted out of the House Committee on Energy Resources. The House should move forward to adopt this common sense measure.
As of 2013, 27 states and the District of Columbia have PACE legislation on the books to help combat harmful emissions from electric generation. States from California to Wyoming have enacted PACE programs. Generally, in these states, the financing terms are 15-20 years. It works very much like taking out a home loan, or perhaps a better example would be a home improvement loan, but for commercial properties. Disbursing the payments over a longer period of time makes these efficiency upgrades affordable for a wider variety of business. It also makes upgrades attainable for smaller businesses.
I urge fellow Texans to get in touch with their State Representative and tell him or her to support the PACE bills (HB 1094 and SB 385). This is common sense legislation that benefits everyone.
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Posted in Global Warming, tagged Carbon Dioxide, Coal, coal mines, Kentucky, Leaching, Mines, Mining, Moutain Top Removal, Open Pit Mining, Powder Creek, Strip Mining, Tar Sands, Wyoming on May 26, 2009 |
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While we at Public Citizen Texas are fighting the building of new coal power plants in Texas and the surrounding states, the focus has largely been on the CO2, sulfur and other pollutants emitted into the air by the burning of coal, not to mention its inefficiency as a fuel source. We often over look or neglect to think about the huge environmental destruction associated with getting coal out of the ground, as well as the history of health and safety risks associated with coal mining.
Historically these issues were brought up as some of the biggest objections to the use of coal as an energy source. One just needs to listen to John Prine’s “Paradise” or read any of the works by Wendell Berry on the topic (both document destruction caused by strip mining in Kentucky) to see how important the impact of coal mining was to environmentalists of past generations. This shift in focus has in no doubt been due the transfer of mining away from more populated regions to remote regions like the Powder River Basin, in Wyoming.
Traditionally coal mining has taken place underground and has been done by miners with shovels and picks (often exposing workers to dangerous and health compromising conditions). This is still the image of coal mining that resides in America’s popular consciousness. However this image is no longer accurate, as 67% of America’s coal is now extracted from the earth above ground. Surface mining techniques have become very popular for coal production since the development of steam shovels in the early twentieth century. Surface mining techniques revolve around removing the layers of Earth (overburden) above with large machines to expose the coal field to the surface where workers can easily extract it. This technique can be used to extract coal that is up to 200 ft deep within the Earth. (more…)
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