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Archive for February 16th, 2009

lasbrisas2More than 200 citizens gathered in Corpus Christi this Valentine’s Day to march in protest of the proposed Las Brisas Power Plant.

Public Citizen staffers were on hand to lend their support to the display, but this march was all local, baby.  Groups as varied as the Clean Economy Coalition of the Coastal Bend, Nueces County Medical Society, American Federation of Teachers, North Beach Tenants Association, and student organizations from Texas A&M University Corpus Chrisi sponsored and participated in this event.

Check out Corpus Christi Channel 6′s news coverage of the event for stunning footage of and interviews from local opponents.

The preliminary hearing on Las Brisas’ air permit will be held tomorrow at ten at 1201 Leopard Street.

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actJoin Public Citizen and the other Alliance for a Clean Texas member organizations in promoting a create a clean energy economy in Texas! We will lobby the Legislature to promote energy efficiency and renewables and implement a moratorium on coal. By working together, we can keep Texas clean, reduce risks to human health, and create sustainable jobs.

Register now for this free event!

Advocacy Training

WHEN: Tuesday, February 17, 5-9 PM
WHERE: University Presbyterian Church, 2203 San Antonio St, Austin, TX 78705
Parking available in University Co-op Garage across the street.

Your favorite lobbyists (that’s us!) will provide information, training, and a box dinner.

Lobby Day

WHEN: Wednesday, February 18, 8 AM-Noon
WHERE: Legislative Conference Center, Texas State Capitol, E2.002
Parking available in Capitol Visitors parking garage at 1201 San Jacinto located between Trinity and San Jacinto Streets at 12th and 13th Streets.

Following check-in, Lobby Day participants will visit their Texas State Representative and Senator and ask them to support clean energy legislation. They will also invite them to the Texas Energy Future conference later that morning in the Legislative Auditorium.

After lobbying, participants can attend the Texas Energy Future: Clean Power, Green Jobs conference with keynote speaker Van Jones and business leaders in the fields of energy efficiency and renewables. See the conference website for more information and to register today.

Following the conference, Public Citizen will host a mixer outside our office on 1303 San Antonio St.  We hope to see you there!

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For the past 30 years, previous administrations have failed to write regulations to enforce the laws, despite strong pushes by Congress and even a court order to attain stricter energy standards on 30 categories of appliances, according to a recent New York Times article. Speaking to the Department of Energy recently, however, President Obama ordered the department to immediately draft standards to make a variety of appliances more energy efficient.  While some would expect that these standards will lead to more expensive appliances, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) points out:

Under standards, equipment prices have risen modestly, but estimates by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and ACEEE indicate that the benefits are more than 3 times the costs on a net present value basis.

Obama said he plans on complying with the laws, beginning this year with nine categories of appliances, including ovens, vending machines, microwave ovens, dishwashers and light bulbs.  The President said that “this will save consumers money, this will spur innovation and this will conserve tremendous amounts of energy.” My boy, former President George W. Bush, had completed seven standards, leaving office with fifteen yet to be written. Mr. Obama intends to toughen the standards issued by the Bush administration and of course get started where Bush left off.  The fact that Bush completed only seven of the fifteen measures in eight years is pretty consistent with the priorities he had while in office.  Obama taking the initiative early on to see that the rest of the standards get completed as well as improve upon the existing standards is a promising sign for our country’s energy future.

One very specific concern of the Department of Energy is to develop stricter efficiency standards for fluorescent light bulbs.  Doing so could save businesses and households as much as $67 billion over the next 30 years. Congress hopes to phase out the traditional incandescent bulb by 2014.

While this is all super exciting, you can get started on making your home more energy efficient right now!  Just check out your energy provider’s website at www.powertochoose.org.  Most utilities offer customers tips on how to make their homes more energy efficient (i.e. upgrading to more energy efficient appliances as well as taking measures such as installing attic insulation, solar screens on windows, caulking, and weatherstripping), while some provide customers rebates and incentives for taking said measures. Get started today!

For more advice on saving energy, visit the Department of Energy’s Consumer’s Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

-Garren

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