Posts Tagged ‘wind power’

Texas Capitol - north viewTwo bills have now been filed in the Texas House that would expand the state’s goals for renewable energy.  Representative Rafael Anchia‘s bill, HB 723, would establish goals for growing renewable energy installations other than large-scale wind through 2022.  Similarly, Representative Eddie Rodriquez‘s bill, HB 303, would establish a goal for solar installations and increase the existing goal (which was met 15 years ahead of schedule) for all renewable energy for 2020.

We applaud these efforts and the leadership that Rep. Anchia and Rep. Rodriquez are showing by filing these bills.  These proposals recognize that success is a good thing and something we want more of.  You wouldn’t think that would need saying, but when a state agency recommends tossing out a successful policy, I start to wonder.  Texas’s renewable energy goals have been extraordinarily successful.  Not only have the goals been met ahead of time, but they have spurred development of the wind industry in Texas, bringing economic benefits to rural parts of West Texas, as well as to manufacturing centers.  On top of that, wind energy is helping to keep electric bills lower.

A carpenter doesn’t throw away her hammer just because she finished building her first book shelf and Texas shouldn’t repeal it’s renewable energy policies, just because we’ve met some of our goals (remember, the non-wind goal was never enforced).  Wind energy does now makes a substantial contribution to meeting the state’s electrical needs – it contributed a record 26% this past Christmas day, but solar energy is still very underutilized (accounting for less than 1% of energy on the ERCOT grid, which serves 85% of the Texas population) and the geothermal energy industry is still getting off it’s feet.  As Rep. Anchia and Rep. Rodriquez’s bills show, this successful policy tool can be adjusted to keep moving Texas forward.

Read Full Post »

As we close in on the end of 2012 with a winter front keeping temperatures low, Texas achieved a new wind power integration record of 8.638 GW on Dec. 25 at 3:11 p.m according to the Texas grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

Electricity from wind accounted for 25.71% of power being generated and used at that point in time, as the peak demand was 39.847 GW.  Of the 8.638 GW being generated by Texas wind farms, over 84% came from wind farms in West Texas, and 16% came from sites on the Texas coast.

More details can be found in ERCOT’s wind integration report for Dec. 25.

Read Full Post »

Don't blame the windCheck out Public Citizen’s Texas director’s, Tom “Smitty” Smith, response to CPS Energy CEO Doyle  Beneby‘s op-ed in the San Antonio Express last week that blamed Texas wind power plants for creating problems by producing such cheap power that it made it hard to build new gas plants or profitably operate those we have.

Click here to read “Don’t blame wind energy for lack of new power plants”

Read Full Post »

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state grid operator and manager of the wholesale electric market, hit a new wind record of 7,599 MW on Wednesday, exceeding the previous record set the previous day by almost 200 megawatts (MW).

At the time of Wednesday’s record, wind was supplying 22 percent of the 34,318 MW total system load for the state.

Coastal wind farms supplied 1,018 MW of the new record, along with 6,581 MW from the west and north zones. ERCOT currently has 9,838 MW of installed wind capacity – the highest of any state in the US – including 7,531 MW in the western part of the state, 232 MW in the north, and 2,075 MW in the coastal region.

March is typically a high wind month for Texas, but these new records are also due in part to a new transmission analysis tool that allows the grid operator to move more wind energy from the west zone.

The installed wind capacity that feeds into the Texas grid increased last month by 9 MW with the addition of Harbor Wind in Nueces County. More than 18,000 MW of wind generation projects are currently under review, according to ERCOT’s February system planning update.

And now, the first interconnection agreement for a CREZ (Competitive Renewable Energy Zone – transmission lines that bring renewable energy to the rest of the Texas Grid) substation was completed March 27, 2012, between Wind Energy Transmission Texas and Stephens Ranch Wind Energy.  The Interconnection point is the Long Draw Substation in Borden County.  This wind farm will include 233 turbines for total of 377 MW that is scheduled for commercial operations to begin in November 2013.

As new wind projects come online and transmission lines to bring their electricity to the grid are completed, we can expect to see more wind energy records broken.

Read Full Post »

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the operators of the Texas electric grid, has released its Emerging technologies report that includes the state of renewables on the Texas grid.

Monthly wind energy graph

Some interesting facts show that wind generation continues to provide a significant amount of energy to the grid as the technology matures, new turbines are developed and better tools are put in place to maximize the turbines generation. The effects of the CREZ (certified renewable energy zone) transmission line build out are starting to be seen as congestion from wind rich west Texas is reduced and more energy is being able to be delivered to the major urban ares. The report shows that wind generation provided 9.9% of the total energy used from January thru June of this year.

Other good news is that the capacity factor (100% capacity factor would be a perfect generator running flat out all of the time all 8760 hours of the year) for the wind fleet has now reached 38.3%  and continues to increase, that’s better than a lot of natural gas plants.

In addition on June 19, 2011, at 10:26 PM, ERCOT set a record for instantaneous wind generation of 7,355 MW (which represented 77.6% of installed wind generation capacity and 14.6% of the ERCOT load at the time).  This broke the previous instantaneous wind generation record of 7,227 MW set on December 10, 2010. So much for wind not working in the summertime.

The amount of wind produced energy continues to increase and the new coastal wind farms have been a major contributor.  According to the CEO of ERCOT wind has saved us a couple of times this year. Back during the February 3rd rolling blackouts the wind farms played a large roll in keeping the grid running when the aging fleet of fossil fuel generators, along with some brand new ones, failed in the cold.  Then during the current heat wave, the coastal wind farms supplied around 2000 mw of much needed energy during one of the highest energy demand days, keeping the lights on. Perhaps the PUC should start paying more attention and let us add some solar to the mix instead of letting the 500mw non-wind project expire as they did.

ERCOT Wind Generation Capacity

Recently San Antonio put out a request for a large solar project and was bombarded with proposals.  ERCOT then announced they are planning to un-mothball several old gas plants just in case we run short on energy again.  It’s the same thing we saw during the legislative session – the fossil fuel companies got to keep billions in tax breaks but solar didn’t get a dime.   Now the PUC is having a meeting (August 22nd) on how they can “fix” the market to get more generation built when they already have the tools and the opportunity staring them in the face.

During a recent ERCOT meeting held at the peak of the energy demand, I over heard folks saying how “it sure would be nice to have some more solar on the system.” Perhaps the politicians should get out of the way and let the engineers do their job.   The public power utilities (municipally owned and rural electric cooperatives) are leading the way.  San Antonio is looking to build 400mw utility scale solar, Austins 30mw Webberville project moving along and several other Munis and Co-ops looking to build solar projects.  But where is the much vaunted deregulated energy market when we need them?  Relying on 30-50years old smelly, toxin spewing existing fleets – or business as usual.

As Texas bakes in the the record summer heat wave and our scarce water resources are being sucked up by traditional power plants ( a typical coal plant can use 10 million gallons of water a day) low impact non polluting energy sources are being allowed to languish on the sidelines. Its time to get with it, and bring some new industries, more jobs and clean renewable energy to the Texas grid to keep the lights on and meet the EPA regulations for clean air and water for us and our children to enjoy. Companies want to build 3000 MW of offshore wind beyond the barrier islands south of Corpus Christi, and there is a 10,000 mw farm that is in the plans to be built up in the Panhandle.

To paraphrase, the answer my friends truly seems to be blowing in the wind, just as the sun comes up every morning.

Read Full Post »

The PUC wants to have a meeting at the end of August to try to figure out how to fix Texas’s experiment of a deregulated generation market, as we look like we are going to run out of energy during what could be ever increasing hot summers.
It seems the current market based behavior doesn’t send proper signals to companies to build new generation.
In addition our grid was designed to be almost completely isolated from the rest of the country so we cannot get help if its needed and available.
Generators use old, outdated generation to reduce costs and even turn off environmental controls to further lower costs at the expense of citizens health and to maximize profits.
The “new” market is based on scarcity pricing but if generation is truly scarce we have rolling blackouts, which are devastating to the economy and kill people.
Before deregulation the Utility commission would request new generation be built in a certain time frame and capacity and pay a preset profit margin to the companies that participated. They did the same thing with transmission lines and retail costs.
These are critical infrastructure needs and were protected from the swings of the financial and other markets. The process was covered under the term Total Resource Planning.
Now with the current heat wave and over a decade of deregulated markets we face the possibility that there will not be enough generation to meet the needs of Texas. We have many old and highly polluting plants that resemble the old steam locomotives of the 1800’s carting around a bin of coal to burn rocks and boil water. A larger amount of our critical infrastructure also consists of ancient natural gas “steamer” plants that are only run around 400 hours a year and are also highly polluting and have proven not to be very reliable but highly profitable.
Compare that to the newer generation of combined cycle gas turbines that resemble a jet engine and have several additional generators attached to it to recover the excess heat to generate even more energy with low stack emissions.
We have harvested significant amounts of non-polluting wind energy (coastal wind is over-performing expectations during the current crises) but the majority is located in just one region (West Texas) leading to problems of transmission congestion and generation variability. Some progress has been made on building wind projects in the areas along the Texas coast that provide energy much closer to the time that its needed, but more needs to be done.
Texas has made very little progress on adding an solar generation (that would provide energy when its needed most) because of a lack of policy leadership at the legislature and the PUC.

Now the PUC wants to tinker with the market to see if it can artificially raise the price of energy by using a “proxy” price as in “we will pay you more because our market system isn’t working, so pretty please build some new generators”.

This is a hell of a way to provide the resources that Texans need. Its time to get rid of the old smoking wreaks of generation plants that are carrying the load, sucking up our ever shrinking water supplies and fouling our air, and go to a controlled “regulated” modernized generation plan that uses all our resources with the least impact to our health, environment and wallets.
We used to pay a fair price for services delivered, now we just pay and hope the lights stay on.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas

Read Full Post »

According to a press release from ERCOT, Texas posted a 30 percent increase in energy from renewable sources in 2010 with voluntary participation in renewable energy credits up 45 percent

Below is ERCOT’s press release:  

MAY 13, 2011, AUSTIN – Texas posted a 30 percent increase in energy generated by renewable sources in 2010, according to the state’s renewable energy credits registry administered by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of the state. 

The renewable energy recorded in the state’s renewable energy credit program was 28 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in 2010, compared to 21.6 million MWh in 2009 – a 30 percent increase – as reported in the Texas renewable energy credit program annual report, filed today at the Public Utility Commission.

Wind generation represented the largest share at 26.8 million MWh.  Solar energy increased the most, by percentage, going from 4,492 to 14,449 MWh.




2010 (MWhs)

2009 (MWhs)

Increase (%)









Landfill gas
















Competitive retail electric providers must annually acquire and retire renewable energy credits based on their load-ratio share of the state’s renewable portfolio standard mandate.  Any electric provider may voluntarily retire renewable energy credits to substantiate “green energy” claims. 

A renewable energy credit (REC) is a tradable instrument that represents one megawatt-hour of renewable energy produced. 

For the third consecutive year, the RECs retired in the voluntary market exceeded the mandatory retirements:

  • 11.83 million RECs were retired in the voluntary market – a 45 percent increase over 2009’s record of 8.94 million;
  • 9 million RECs were retired by the state’s 168 competitive retail electricity providers in compliance with the state renewable portfolio standard;
  • 20.86 million total RECs were retired in 2010 compared to 15.7 million in 2009 and 13.5 million in 2008.



2010 (millions)

2009 (millions)

2008 (millions)

Retired for mandate




Voluntary retirements








Since 2008, the program has also awarded compliance premiums in conjunction with a REC that is generated by a non-wind renewable energy source.  For the purpose of the renewable portfolio standard requirements, one compliance premium is equal to one REC.  Last year, 11 companies were awarded a total of 275,910 compliance premiums, representing






Number of companies




Compliance premiums awarded




The Texas Legislature established the renewable portfolio standard as part of the restructuring of the state’s electricity market in 1999 to increase incentives for renewable energy production.  The Texas Public Utility Commission implemented the renewable energy credit program in 2001 and established ERCOT as the administrator. 

The program currently includes 107 generation accounts representing a total of 10,515 MW of new renewable generation added in Texas since 1999.  (An additional 298 MW registered in the program is from six renewable generation resources that were in service prior to September 1999 for a total of 10,813 MW.)  Texas exceeded 10,000 MW of renewable capacity last year, which achieved the Texas Legislature’s goal of 10,000 MW of renewable generation by 2025 – 15 years early.


FuelType 2010 (MWs) 2009 (MWs) 2008 (MWs)
Biomass 108 40 37
Hydro 33 33 33
Landfill gas 88 80 72
Solar 21 1 1
Wind 10,265 9,915 8,158
Total 10,515 10,069 8,301

Does not include generation in service prior to September 1999.

The megawatts of capacity reported in the REC annual report may not align with total renewable resources registered in ERCOT planning reports and other reporting agencies because it includes renewable generation throughout Texas, not just ERCOT. In addition, the program is voluntary and only tracks renewable resource generation registered in the program.


Renewable Energy Credit Program – Annual Report, 2010

Texas Renewable Energy Credit Program website

PUCT Substantive Rule 25.173: Goal for Renewable Energy

ERCOT Protocols, Section 14: State of Texas Renewable Energy Credit Trading Program

Read Full Post »

Guest contributer - Paul Sadler

Paul Sadler is the executive director of the Wind Coalition, and a former Texas state legislator.  He responds to the recent comptroller report which he believes did not accurately represent the job creation potential of wind energy

If we are to believe a recent report from the comptroller’s office (“An Analysis of Texas Economic Development Incentives 2010”), wind energy creates only 500 jobs in Texas.

And if we are to believe another claim by the comptroller’s office, a weekend of Formula One racing at a taxpayer-subsidized track in Austin will bring 5,000 jobs. In other words, even though Texas is the sixth-largest producer of wind energy in the world, with enough installed capacity to power 2.5 million homes, we are supposed to believe it produces one-tenth the number of jobs as expensive cars driving along a track.

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs has indicated she does not believe the statute authorizing her report on economic development incentives allows her to look at the total economic impact of wind energy as she did for a Formula One race.

So, let’s introduce some facts missing from the comptroller’s report. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Windmills south of Dumas, TX

Windmills south of Dumas, TX -by Wikipedia

When Texans turn on their lights, run their air conditioning, charge thier cell phones or even plug in their plug-in hybrid cars, they are getting an increasing amount of power from the wind. 

Figures released by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the pseudo state agency that regulates the Texas electric grid, earlier this month show that last year, nearly 8 percent of the power on the state’s electric grid was generated by wind. That’s more than three times the national average.

Wind-generated power has been growing rapidly in the state, and Texas now has nearly three times as much wind capacity in place as the next-closest state, Iowa,  The state also broke the 10,000 megawatt barrier for the first time last year, according to the American Wind Energy Association.  The rapid growth (from 6.2 percent of the Texas grid’s generation in 2009 to 7.8 percent last year) came despite transmission-line constraints in West Texas, which has the vast majority of the state’s wind capacity. This limitation has resulted in some wind turbines having to be shut down even when the wind is blowing, because there is not enough room on the wires to move the power hundreds of miles away to the urban areas that need it.

Much of the new wind has come from a different part of Texas — along the Gulf coast in the south, especially Kenedy and San Patricio counties. The Public Utility Commission, says there are now about 1,100 megawatts of wind in ERCOT’s south zone. That translates to roughly one-ninth of the total wind capacity in Texas.

In addition, a privately owned transmission line built by a Florida-based renewables company, connected an enormous wind farm in Kendall and Taylor counties to the grid. That line began operating in fall of 2009, so the wind farm’s contribution showed up more fully last year.  The state has planned $5 billion worth of other transmission lines to remedy the congestion in West Texas, and just last week approved the route for transmission through the Texas hill country.

The big loser in the newest figures was natural gas. While natural gas is abundant in Texas, less polluting than coal and substantially cheaper than it was jut a few years ago, it is also easily replaced by the wind.  Lt. Governor Dewhurst has talked recently about providing incentives for new natural gas plants in an effort to slow or even halt the construction of new coal-fired plants.

The gas industry has talked of trying to shift more costs to wind to make up for the wind’s intermittency, arguing that other types of power plants pay penalties if they go offline unexpectedly, but wind is allowed to come and go in accordance with the whims of nature. However, there is no particular legislation right now that would change those dynamics.

Meanwhile, wind will continue to grow, and when the state-planned $5 billion transmission line is built-out, that should nearly double the wind-energy capacity that’s currently on the Texas grid.

Read Full Post »

As an end of the month deadline looms, PUC once again postponed a final decision on the route of a controversial portion of the lines and towers that will carry wind power from West Texas through the Hill Country and on to the state’s more populated regions

At this point it looks like PUC will likely act next week at their Jan. 20 meeting, following a marathon meeting Thursday.

The proposal has drawn fire from hundreds of Hill Country property owners on grounds that the power lines and towers would severely damage the area’s natural beauty and devastate property values.

Tune in after January 20th to find out what is finally decided.

Read Full Post »

Dean Kamen is known for his many inventions, some of which have transformed the world, from the insulin pump and an all-terrain wheelchair to portable water purification systems and robotic prosthetic limbs. Of course, others, like his Segway self-balancing electric scooter (which visitors to the Texas capitol will see whizzing past with curious sightseers holding on for dear life), became more of a pop-culture phenomenon than a major boost to his pocketbook.Austin capitol segway tourists

His love for science, technology, engineering and innovating has made him wealthy and in 1986, Kamen bought a tiny, 2-acre private island off the coast of Connecticut in Long Island Sound, where he began bumping heads with the local authorities from the town of Southold, N.Y., which has jurisdiction over the island, when he wanted to put up a wind turbine.  Like our Governor Perry, he made noises about seceding, but eventually did receive his variance to build his personal wind turbine. That turbine, coupled with the use of solar panels, provides the island with all its power. He replaced all the island’s lighting with LEDs, which cut down his in-house energy consumption by 70 percent, thus creating the most carbon-neutral kingdom (his pseudo island nation kingdom) on the planet — “carbon-negative,” in fact.

Kamen’s methods may sometimes seem childish and self-serving, but he claims to use mirth to attract attention to what he considers his most important work: inspiring others to think outside the box in developing new ways to live better lives and he hopes to inspire young people to follow his lead in seeking out innovation so that they, too, can become island rulers — or at least the masters of their fates.

Let’s hope that he does inspire people in this country to innovate and they can lead us into a new energy future.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

Read Full Post »

A recent poll shows that voters are more inclined to vote for a candidate that voted for the Federal climate change and renewable energy legislation than for those who didn’t. This is interesting in a time in which many conservative groups are advocating that climate change is a hoax and humans don’t need to intervene to save the planet.  Or, that (even worse) voters just know.. they just KNOW that policies like cap and trade are just a hidden energy tax and they won’t tolerate it at the ballot box.

This poll should be eye-opening to many of the Texas local and federal candidates (and it is worth noting that both of the competitive US House races in Texas are ones where the incumbent voted NO on the American Clean Energy and Security Act). Even more surprising, very few candidates campaign on clean energy in a state where energy makes a great deal of the revenue. And despite how much the governor boasts about Texas leading in renewable energy, Texas is falling behind to a couple of other states, notably California.

Although it seems a scarce phenomenon, a few Texas candidates have climate change and clean energy as part of their campaign. We wanted to highlight the campaigns of a couple of these candidates. *

Last month, Bill White, gubernatorial candidate, announced his energy plan and he explicitly said that clean energy (solar in particular) will be the future of Texas.

Texas can remain the energy capital of the world if we lead in new energy development. That’s why we must educate Texans for high-demand, high-paying clean energy jobs, promote job growth in construction and manufacturing, and invest in science and technology research,” said Bill White in a speech in Lubbock last month.

Mark Strama,  who is running for re-election for his seat in the Texas House of Representatives, has been airing a campaign ad where he says “For the past hundred years, Texas has prospered as the leader of energy, but promising new energy technologies are being developed in other states and other countries.” Strama, who chairs the Technology, Economic Development & Workforce Committee, introduced a couple of green bills in the last legislative session and it looks like he will continue this effort during the forthcoming session. Yesterday, he facebooked about “a promising development” of a Bastrop clean energy park.

On the Congressional level, Representative Charlie Gonzalez includes clean energy and climate change on his legislative agenda. According to his website, in order to “address threats faced to our country and our planet by climate change, America needs an energy policy that relies on resources that are both clean and efficient.” Gonzalez points out that the issue of climate change is tied to the nation’s energy policy.
Texas needs more politicians to come out for renewable energy and those who tell their constituents that it doesn’t create more jobs and revenue for the state, they are simply ignoring the facts facts. According to a recent report, a robust renewable energy market in Texas can create as many as 23,000 jobs and almost 3 billion in revenue every year for the next 10 years. Strama is right, Texas does have a future in renewables and it is time for Texas politicians to “put solutions above ideology and Texas above politics.”

* Public Citizen does not endorse any political candidate and/or party. Nothing in this opinion blog ought to be construed as an endorsement of any kind. The author’s words are his own.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

Read Full Post »

Finally, energy is now moving to the center of the debate in the governor race. Bill White announced yesterday his energy plan. For a while, the democratic candidate’s position on energy was a bit blurry but yesterday White set the record straight. He is in for green energy.

While the current governor has wasted state resources on fighting the EPA and the Federal government on behalf of big business, White thinks the state should focus more on green energy, especially from solar. White said that just like Texas had a good experience with wind energy in the past decade, it can exceed in the field of solar energy.

White emphasizes that green energy can create many jobs and help boost the Texas economy. The jobs can range from construction,  and panel installation, research, to jobs in education and training and maintenance jobs so even in the long run, there will be jobs.

Texas can remain the energy capital of the world if we lead in new energy development. That’s why we must educate Texans for high-demand, high-paying clean energy jobs, promote job growth in construction and manufacturing, and invest in science and technology research,” said Bill White, yesterday in Lubbock.

In addition to promoting renewable energy, White outlined a plan to establish a residential energy efficiency program and another to retrofit government buildings to be more energy-conservative. The democratic candidates also encouraged Texans to be conservative with their use of energy, “Texans know that the cheapest kilowatt of power is the one you don’t use. Texas families and businesses, as well as the government, can save money with energy efficiency measures,”

We believe investing in green energy will not only enhance the quality of our environment, it will bring more money into our economy, and it will create more jobs for Texans.  Sounds like we have one candidate with an energy plan.  Governor Perry, yours please?


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

Read Full Post »

Op-ed originally published in Sunday’s Amarillo Globe:

Column – Andy Wilson: Perry spews hot air on warming

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry’s recent essay (“EPA ‘science’ doesn’t add up in global warming equation,” Dec. 27, 2009) is full of hot air and not much else.

The governor’s outrage produces more heat than light, revealing his ignorance of science and penchant for quoting dubious and discredited economic studies funded by energy companies.

The real inconvenient truth is that Texas cannot afford to make meaningless political statements any longer, especially when there’s work to be done – carbon regulation is coming whether the governor throws a tantrum or not. We can shout at the wind or harness it into a clean energy future.

Planning for a low-carbon future now will pay dividends in the future as the world comes to Texas for the clean energy we can supply in abundance. But if we choose to pout rather than produce, we risk missing the clean energy train.

Already, Texas wind turbines are providing electricity, not to mention jobs and tax revenue, and we’re blessed with some of the best solar potential of any state. According to data from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, West Texas families pay less for their electricity, thanks in large part to all those wind farms. Peer-reviewed economic studies, including one by the Union of Concerned Scientists, show Texas families stand to save $980 annually in energy costs by enacting clean-energy legislation.

The scare-tactics scenarios the governor laid out use phony statistics from studies underwritten by dirty energy lobbyists who are afraid of competition from these low-carbon upstarts. If you dig deeper into these studies, even under their highest cost projections, U.S. economic growth remains robust and millions of new jobs are created, hundreds of thousands of which would be in Texas.

Given our high-tech, manufacturing, and energy leadership experience, Texas should be attracting green energy technologies already. But instead, we’re losing major solar and battery manufacturing to states which are less sunny but more savvy, such as Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Maybe Perry should spend less time posturing and complaining about science he doesn’t understand and more time enacting strong policies to attract clean energy jobs and industry to Texas, the same way Amarillo has in their recent announcement to bring as many as 750 new wind turbine manufacturing jobs to the area.

The truth about the hacked e-mails Perry references that purport to discredit global warming is this: It’s a tempest in a teapot, and every scientist knows it. If we’re looking for a “smoking gun” that disproves the settled science of climate change, we would need glaciers and ice caps to stop melting at record levels worldwide. We would need temperatures and drought throughout Texas to recede, rather than having the last decade be the hottest and driest on record.

Since we only depend on the research of scientists at the University of East Anglia, a town and university so small, I challenge you to find it on a map, for a very small portion of the corpus of scientific knowledge on climate change, we would need much more than a few choice words from scientists behaving badly to contradict that. To discount all climate science based only on these emails would be the same as disqualifying University of Texas from playing in the Rose Bowl because of the criminal misbehavior by one of their bench wide receivers.

But the good news is that whether you believe in global warming or not, all of our tools to solve it are the same tools we need to solve our current crises and create a better future for Texans.

Worried about unemployment? Energy security? The loss of American manufacturing? Clean energy development cuts into all of these problems, and just happens to help save the planet while we’re at it.

Everybody wins.

So at the start of a new decade, let’s be winners, not whiners. Texas should be getting in front of federal legislation and putting in place the policies that ensure that the nation will turn to us for their future renewable energy needs for the 21st century, the same way they have for the past century with oil and gas.

Doing anything less, Gov. Perry, certainly seems … well, un-Texan.

Andy Wilson is the Global Warming Program director for Public Citizen’s Texas Office.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

Read Full Post »

Congratulations to San Angelo, Texas, where a new 150 MW wind farm is up, spinning, and on with commercial operations.  According to North American Wind Power,

The project’s 100 General Electric 1.5 MW turbine generators are expected to generate more than 525,000 MWh of wind energy per year, which will be sold into the ERCOT system. Approximately 200 jobs were created during the nine-month construction period and 10 full-time professionals will be employed at the now-operational facility. Padoma Wind Power, an NRG subsidiary, developed the project, which is capable of powering more than 100,000 Texas homes.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, cleaner cars, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »