Posts Tagged ‘coal moratorium’

Sponsored by ReEnergize Texas, the event will feature speeches by leaders in the student climate change movement, as well as a diverse group of Texas Representatives and Senators.

fund_future_rallyWhen: Monday, March 30th
Rally: 9:30am-10:30am
Lobby Appointments: 10:30am-2:30pm
Where: Texas Capitol (north of 11th and Congress)

Register at ReEnergizeTexas.org

Hundreds of youth from all over Texas will converge at a rally and a lobby day at the State Capitol for clean energy and climate justice! We will lobby for:

* Increasing distributed solar to 2,000MW of generation
* Stopping all new coal-fired power plants
* Creating programs that help disadvantaged youth stay on track to complete high school while improving energy efficiency in low-income homes

This promises to be a powerful moment in Texas grassroots politics. Join us 9:30am-10:30am for great speakers from the movement and the State Legislature including Senator Rodney Ellis, Representative Tara Rios Ybarra, and Public Citizen Director Tom “Smitty” Smith.

Lobby Day training will happen on Sunday, March 29th, 3:45pm-6:00pm. This training is crucial for those who want to play speaking roles during lobby visits. We will have materials, Q&A, and role play exercises.

The Texas Legislature only meets every 2 years. If we want a clean and just energy future for Texas, we have to go to the Capitol and make our voices heard. Join us!

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no-new-coal1Yesterday morning we held a press conference to highlight the importance of the proposed coal moratorium bill, SB 126, sponsored by State Sen. Rodney Ellis, and its companion bill in the house, HB 4384, sponsored by Rep. Allen Vaught.

SB 126 , which went into committee late Tuesday night, would put a temporary moratorium on authorizations for new coal-fired power plants that do not capture and sequester their carbon emissions.  If all of Texas’ 12 proposed coal plants were built, they would emit an additional 77 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  Top climate scientists, most notably James Hansen, have advocated for a coal moratorium as one of the top priorities to address climate change.

This legislation would also give Texas time to take a breath, see what federal carbon legislation will come down from Washington, and re-evaluate our energy plan.  We expect carbon emissions to be given a price as a result of a federal climate change bill, and this would make the energy from coal considerably more expensive.

Floor Pass, the Texas Observer’s legislative blog, reports:

Environmentalists support these bills, but some feel they could be stronger. Both bills grant exceptions to facilities that capture and sequester some of the carbon dioxide they produce. Vaught’s bill mandates that a minimum of at least 60 percent of the carbon dioxide must be captured and sequestered in order for the exemption to apply. Ellis’ bill does not specify the amount.

“We definitely would support 100 percent reduction of carbon dioxide,” says Karen Hadden, director of Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition. “We should not be adding carbon dioxide to our air at this point in time. It’s too risky in terms of climate change. Companies can do it, and they should.”

Representatives from communities currently fighting coal plants were on hand to discuss how this legislation will protect their families from dangerous health effects such as asthma and increased autism rates and improve local air quality.  It was really moving to hear community members telling their own stories of how proposed coal plants would affect their lives.  If you’re interested in hearing their stories, check out the video feed from the press conference. Look for March 25, Press Conference: Senator Rodney Ellis.  That’s us!

The story got picked up in a couple other media outlets.  All the news that’s fit to link:

“Foes take power plant fight to Austin” by Denise Malan, Corpus Christi Caller Times

“Texas coal opponents call for a temporary moratorium on new plants” by Barbara Kessler, Green Right Now

And if you STILL WANT MORE, check out our press release after the jump.


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Public Citizen will be testifying on nearly three dozen bills today during committee meetings in the House and Senate.  You can watch the action in the House or the Senate by going to the individual committees.  Be sure to tune in to our 10am Press Conference on a coal moratorium by clicking on the link to the Senate Press Room in the video feeds.  Links to the committees we’ll be testifying in all day today:

House Agriculture and Livestock 7:30 am

Senate Business and Commerce  8am  (where most of the solar bills will be heard)

Senate Natural Resources 1pm (including the coal moratorium)

House State Affairs 1pm

Also, if you’re looking for something to do today, come down and show your support for solar energy, the coal moratorium, or any of the other over 30 bills we’ll be testifying on.

For those of you interested in some light reading, I highly reccomend Forecast: The Global Conseqeunces of Climate Change by Stephen Faris.  As an international correspondant, he has seen how the conflict in Darfur began as a conflict over resources, and how the wildfires of Australia have decimated the countryside.  This is just a taste of things to come in a world of disrupted and rapidly changing climate.  The following excerpts are available:

Part 1: The Florida Keys are sinking

Part 1: Can insurance cover the costs of climate change?

Part 1: Who will be able to afford to live on the coast?

Part 2: Pathogens find new habitats

Part 2: Countries could backslide into poverty

Part 2: How disease relates to carbon dioxide

Part 3: Easier passage through the Arctic

Part 3: A scramble for control of the Arctic

Part 3: Opening the Arctic to damage

Also, for anyone who missed it, an article in today’s Washington Post about the EPA qietly delivering to Obama a finding that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant,(like we needed the EPA to tell us that) opening the door for states to regulate emissions standards for cars, permitting of CO2 in power plants, etc.

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