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Archive for July 2nd, 2009

frameworknewThe word, according to the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club:

The Texas Legislature failed to update state energy codes for new commercial, industrial, and residential buildings. That doesn’t mean Texas can’t move forward. We can get the job done in other ways.

There is a silver lining to this spring’s legislative shortfall: proposed rulemaking at the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) to update the state minimum building codes from 2001 to 2009 may move faster than the proposed legislation would have required.

Adopting the 2009 IECC or IRC will lead to the following changes in residential construction:

  • Homes will be tested or inspected to allow less air leakage and less thermal infiltration, leading to less energy use.
  • Ducts will be sealed and tested or located in conditioned space to ensure that heating and cooling equipment functions efficiently.
  • Windows will meet lower U-factor and lower SHGC requirements, leading to substantial reductions in the amount of air conditioning needed. (Note that the IECC sets a more stringent SHGC requirement than the IRC.)
  • At least half of light fixtures will have to be “high efficacy.” (Lights have not been included in previous residential energy codes.)

On June 5th, SECO opened a 30-day comment period on updating the residential energy codes based on the 2009 IRC Codes. Take a moment today to send your comment of support for updated energy codes! Comments are due to SECO before 5 pm on July 5.

Failure to update our standards quickly and effectively would be a step backwards and could potentially impact current or future funding from the federal government.  Texas lags behind many states on its Energy Codes (see map). The nation is moving to update energy efficiency codes, with Congress considering a single national building code standard.  Under the American Renewal and Recovery Act (the federal economic stimulus program), Texas has submitted a letter to the Department of Energy saying it has a process to update its standards, allowing SECO to accept certain grants for energy efficiency.

Take action today and send your comment to SECO to support new, green energy codes in Texas!

For more information, check out Sierra Club’s factsheet.

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round upIt’s Fourth of July week, and so it’s time for an extra-patriotic rendition of the Texas Progressive Alliance blog roundup.

Off the Kuff takes a look at the latest Lyceum poll on the Governor and Senate races in Texas.

Neil at Texas Liberal suggests that instead of blowing of your fingers lighting fireworks–during a drought in Harris County no less—that maybe you would be better off reading a book instead.

With 2010 spinning up, it’s funny to watch all the different players already on the field line up to take their first hits. McBlogger, of course, thinks they’re all deeply in need of a little advice which he graciously provides (with surprisingly sparse use of profanity)!

WCNews & Dembones at Eye On Williamson post on the latest controversy involving the Williamson County Commissioners Court, Budget officer not just a good idea, it’s the law.

John at Bay Area Houston says Turn out the lights, the family values party is over.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme thinks online Texas Republican commentary on Mark Sanford is interesting.

The similarities between Mark Sanford and Ray Bolger (as the Scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz”) are just too weird, notes PDidde at Brains and Eggs.

The wise men are willing to pay a tax on their favorite junk food to pay for health care reform.

WhosPlayin.com Video bring you EXTREME Congressional Town Hall – Special “Losing our freedoms” edition, sponsored by Prozac.

Over at TexasKaos, Libby Shaw calls our attention to Confessions of a Former Health Insurance Exec: “We Dump the Sick”. Who knew? All the posturing , hypocritical , offers of self-reform and insurance relief are just so much bogus cover up for an industry too greedy to ever be trusted to regulate themselves!

The Texas Cloverleaf discusses gay pride, bar raids, and millions of gays marching in DFW this past weekend during the 40th anniversary of Stonewall.

Burnt Orange Report covers TX-10 Congressional candidate Jack McDonald’s campaign expansion in the Austin area.

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iphoneA new iPhone application My Texas Lege will make it even easier for constituents to contact elected officials and their staffers.  The app, which has both a paid (Plus) and free version (Lite), is a nonpartisan directory of the Texas Legislaturethat will allow users to dial members’ offices directly, find district offices using Google Maps, and email members and staffers directly from your phone.  The application is available now, and starting in Fall 20090 will include a 2010 Campaign Expansion Pack with information on all state races.

I love technology.

Check out the press release after the jump.

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