Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May 14th, 2009

EDITORIAL: Seeing the light and all its power

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dismiss talk of global warming and environmentalism if you must. But times are changing fast and, along with them, the very way we heat and cool our homes and businesses.

The Texas Senate signaled as much this week, approving a bill encouraging development of solar energy plants to generate electricity, much as the state has done in making wind an energy player in Texas and beyond.

Now it’s up to the House and Gov. Rick Perry to show similar vision for Texas.

We hope it isn’t much of a stretch. Sunshine is something we have plenty of in Texas — and we’re unlikely to run out of it anytime soon.

Passage of state Sen. Kirk Watson’s legislation, with help from Sen. Kip Averitt, R-Waco, is remarkable for a couple of reasons. For one thing, the Senate is dominated by Republicans. Watson is a Democrat.

Yet many lawmakers on both sides want to encourage the solar, geothermal and biomass energy aims in this bill. Some see the writing on the wall.

A Texas Public Utility Commission report issued Tuesday concludes that electricity prices could jump as much as $10 billion a year — $27 a month in the average electric bill — if Texans don’t anticipate looming federal greenhouse regulations aimed at cutting carbon-based fuels like natural gas and coal.

Environmentalists and lawmakers see Watson’s bill as neatly bolstering our state’s energy arsenal, especially as Texas continues to grow. Solar could help ensure energy offerings at peak times of the day, while wind will prove of greatest impact during the night hours. (more…)

Read Full Post »

As we’ve said before, there are a lot of good reasons to support a federal cap and trade bill: it would address the looming threat of global warming, create thousands of new green jobs while kick-starting a the clean energy economy, increase national security by achieving energy independence, and done right could even address long-entrenched social inequalities.

But according to a new ad campaign run by Texas Interfaith Power and Light, a vote for clean energy can also be considered “an act of faith.”

The word, according to their press release:

State religious leaders are calling on U.S. Congressman Charles Gonzalez to show leadership on clean energy legislation that Congress is set to mark up starting Thursday. With calls to Congressman Gonzalez and a San Antonio Express-News ad in his district, Texas Interfaith Power & Light is voicing the faith perspective people of faith bring to the debate over the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.

“Texans of faith know that the care for creation and loving our neighbors go hand in hand,” the ad says, asking Congressman Gonzalez to take action on the volatile fuel prices, pollution and global warming that harm “the most vulnerable among us, particularly the poor, the elderly, minorities, and the farmers who provide food for our families.”

Kudos to Texas Interfaith Power and Light for stepping up to the plate.  The greater the diversity of voices weighing in on this issue the more politicians will see that a climate change bill has far-reaching support across the population, and that there will be significant political consequences to inaction.

Read Full Post »