Posts Tagged ‘houston mayor’

This week marks the six month anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, a catastrophic storm that killed 88 people and caused about $125 billion in damages. Scientists have shown that Harvey’s strength was fueled in part by climate change.

Houston Mayor Turner has voiced concerns about climate change and pollution, recently through an op-ed published in the Huffington Post entitled “Cities Must Get Creative In The Fight Against Air Pollution.” In this piece, Turner says that cities must address the poor air quality that too often disproportionately impacts low-income communities. Specifically, he states that he will protest permits for new concrete batch plants. Turner also plans to address climate change through using renewable energy to power city operations and through electric vehicle adoption.

Yet, the city of Houston can do more. The Houston Climate Movement came together last year before Harvey because we know that Houston is at risk for the impacts of climate change. The Houston Climate Movement advocates for a community-wide climate action and adaptation plan.

In response to Turner’s op-ed, we penned this letter to him:


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Once again it’s time for the Texas Progressive Alliance to bring you the highlights from the blogs.

Xanthippas at Three Wise Men airs out some thoughts on the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, and some painful lessons learned blogging about the war in Iraq.

Bay Area Houston claims The Race for Houston Mayor is Now About Race.

Texas is the first state to conduct testing of citizens to determine if their health symptoms are caused from exposure to drilling toxins. But TXsharon is not sure this is such a great idea. Find out why on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

BossKitty at TruthHugger sees a political disconnect between incarceration and rehabilitation within America’s “big business prison system”. Follow through and accountability are casualties of creative budgeting in the criminal justice system with furlough programs, commutations and pardons BACKLASH. Maurice Clemmons was but a single example of a mentally unstable felon. Where was his follow up? Where was his parole officer? Where was the mental health infrastructure that could have defused this violent explosion?

Neil at Texas Liberal asked who are the Democrats running for Houston municipal offices in the runoff election, and who among the Democrats is someone a liberal can support. The post also features pictures and paintings of scenes of gambling as any election is little more than a spin of the wheel.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme sees tea parties and general batsh*t craziness in Nueces County with Club for Growth guy leading the Republican Party.

Teddy at Left of College Station covers the political maneuvering in local Republican primaries, and writes about Obama’s War: Choosing Escalation and Occupation. Left of College Station also covers the week in headlines.

nytexan at Bluebloggin clearly states “I’m Sick of War.” As I listen to Obama’s speech to increase troops in Afghanistan, all I can think of is, the US has been in some kind of war my entire life. Just so you know, I was born between the Korean War and the Vietnam War. We are a war nation. No way to get around it.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts about a conversation over Thanksgiving weekend with two Houston Republicans, or Why Bill White can win.

This was Dickens on the Strand weekend in Galveston and PDiddie at Brains and Eggs took a break from politics and spent the weekend on the island. Here are a few photos from the festival.

Charles of Off the Kuff spent much of the week engaged in an email debate on the Texas Tribune with conservative blogger David Benzion over the merits of Bill White as Mayor of Houston and potentially Governor of Texas.

liberaltexan reports on Political Maneuvering Begins in Republican Primaries. It seems that the race for Texas State Senate District Five is gettting compicated. Check it out at TexasKaos.

The Texas Cloverleaf offered it’s prediction on whether Bill White would run for Governor. 1-0! Yes!

WhosPlayin thinks the Texas Railroad Commission is on a ‘power trip’, intervening in the placement of power lines bringing renewable energy to Texas population centers – ostensibly because the lines might cross over abandoned oil and gas wells, or land that might be used for oil and gas wells in the future. *** Citizen Sarah says, an excellent read!!

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While at Netroots Nation a few weeks back, I had the opportunity to listen in on a panel discussing climate change, Texas’ energy future, and energy security featuring Houston Mayor Bill White (you might have also heard he is running for US Senate).

Mayor White gave very measured, political answers. Throughout the panel, never did the words “Cap and Trade” leave his lips, but he did remain skeptical of anyone who claimed to have it all figured out and that their answer would be easy and painless. He also showed legitimate concerns about the impacts of renewable energy mandates done wrong on low-income consumers. As a representative from a consumer advocacy organization, it is refreshing to hear White’s commitment to protecting our most vulnerable even as we chart a new energy future.

Mayor White’s stated goals are to become more energy independent for basic security reasons and to be in control of our energy future. To do so, he maintains that we must reduce our pollution based on sound science, and do so in a way which does not burden low-income households. He proposes three main mechanisms to meet these goals:

  1. Cut the amount of fuel we use in vehicle travel without impinging on people’s ability to travel freely– specifically by increasing our efficiency per mile traveled.
  2. Cut the amount of energy consumed in buildings. Why drive up the cost of business by paying for electricity?
  3. Decrease the amount of power we get from coal and substitute that power with cleaner sources

Despite some skepticism, Mayor White certainly showed that our energy future could have our cake and eat it too, namely through increased efficiency in building codes, fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, and use of cost-effective renewables. See the edited video here:

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Public Citizen does not and would never endorse candidates. Even if we could, it’s hard to get an exact read on Mayor White and how he would act as the next Senator from Texas on the issue of federal climate policy — so even so we could offer little endorsement other than a candid analysis of his words and his record.

When asked off-camera about how he would vote on the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), the climate bill which passed in the House in June and due up for debate in the Senate over the next 2-3 months, he remained committed to energy efficiency but overall rather vague. White showed skepticism as to large long term goals rather than smaller but gradually increasing cuts in emissions. His version of the bill, he said, would have strong building code mandates, a renewable energy efficiency standard (which is it, Bill?) with a price cap on renewables to protect consumers, and change dispatch priorities to wean the nation off of coal fired power. He did not, however, indicate whether or not he would support implementing a federal cap on carbon dioxide emissions or the cap and trade mechanism.

This is a question likely to come up in the next few months when ACES comes to a Senate vote, and hopefully Mayor White will have a clearer answer prepared when that time comes. But if the final answer is no on ACES, would he have some specific policy solutions about how to improve the bill, or would he just cast the same “no way, never” vote that we’ll likely get from John Cornyn or Kay Bailey Hutchison?

That being said, it is refreshing to hear a candidate speak so fluently about energy policy. Mayor White’s record on energy as Deputy Secretary of Energy stands on its own, as does his impressive work on making Houston a national leader on energy efficiency. We may still be uncertain as to where he stands on ACES, but we certainly know his feelings on energy efficiency both in word and deed – which is nothing to sneeze at.

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Looks like our friends over at ReEnergize Texas have scored a couple interviews with two 2010 Senate race hopefuls, Democratic Mayor of Houston Bill White and Republican Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams.

Trevor Lovell, Statewide Director for ReEnergize Texas, reports:

We are not joining the throng of cable news reporters more concerned with the 2010 election than with fixing the country in the meantime. But we did score big with two interviews that could help shape the midterm US Senate race here in Texas.

The US Senate race in Texas has a slightly funny story. Longtime US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is expected to step down and throw her hat in the ring to become the next Texas Governor. The spot she may vacate (but has not yet vacated) is already being contested by a number of potential candidates, the most notable being John Sharp and Bill White on the Democratic side, and Michael Williams and Florence Shapiro on the Republican side.

Check ’em out:

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Read on for Lovell’s analysis of the interviews! (more…)

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