For More Information:
Doris Sanchez, Senator Lucio’s Office, 512-463-0385
Patrick Talton, Representative Gallego’s Office, 512-463-0566 Cyrus Reed, Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, 512-740-4086 Tom “Smitty” Smith, Public Citizen,
Senator O'Lucio, Representative O'Gallego and
other Legislators introduce Clean Power Green Jobs
Texas "Lucky" to have largest Potential in Nation of Renewable Energy Resources -- Sun, Geothermal, Sustainable Biomass, and Wind
Representative Gallego pointed to a recent report by the
State Energy Conservation Office, the ""Texas
Renewable Energy Resource Assessment" which
states that Texas leads the nation in total wind, solar,
biomass and geothermal resources.
(Austin) Senator Eduardo "Eddie" Lucio, Jr. and Representative Pete P.
Gallego, along with a bi-partisan gathering of Legislators, business persons, and environmental groups introduced legislation to allow the further development of the emerging renewable technologies market at a St. Patrick's week press conference at the Capitol today.
Senator O'Lucio and Representative O'Gallego contributed to a doubling of renewable energy bills from last Session. This Session, Legislators are looking at almost 100 bills filed on renewable energy. Twelve bills like Lucio and Gallego's specifically propose goals for increasing solar power, geothermal, renewable bio-mass, and small-scale wind. Their identical Senate Bill 1419 (Lucio) and House Bill 3478 (Gallego) call for increasing to 4,000 megawatts electrical utilities' renewables generating capacity from resources other than "high capacity wind" by 2020.
Other Legislators filing bills with similar goals referred to as the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) for emerging technologies are: Senator O'Ellis, Senator O'Farabee, Senator O'Huffman, Senator O'Shapleigh, Senator O'Watson, and Representative O'Christian, Representative O'Gonzalez Toureilles, Representative O'Strama, and Representative O'Swinford.
"We have met our goals for wind and we are very fortunate in Texas to have massive clean energy resources besides wind. This legislative session, five different Senators - Republicans and Democrats, urban and rural, and six different Representatives - Republicans and Democrats, urban and rural agree," said Senator Lucio. "We have all introduced legislation that would raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard requiring utilities to give Texans the clean energy they are asking for and industries are prepared to deliver -- technologies like solar power, geothermal energy, and
renewable biomass. The time is now to tap the powerful, clean energy resources that we have and to create green jobs for Texans."
Representative Gallego pointed to a recent report by the State Energy Conservation Office, the "Texas Renewable Energy Resource Assessment" which states that Texas leads the nation in total wind, solar, biomass and geothermal resources. [See the report at http://www.seco.cpa.state.tx.us/publications/renewenergy/]
"This Session, Texas Legislators have
almost doubled the number of renewable energy bills! The
legislation that Senator Lucio and I have introduced sets
the stage for clean energy and green jobs in all regions
of the State. These technologies will draw on the strong
power of the Sun in South and West Texas. These industries
will tap the earth's Geothermal energy along the Coast and
in West Texas; and we can add carefully sustainable biomass
resources from East Texas and other parts of the State," said Representative Gallego. "We
can power our homes and businesses with clean energy and
put Texans to work doing it."
Sierra Club, Public Citizen, Texas Business for Clean Air, and the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association welcomed all of the bills.
"The cost of renewable power is coming
down and becoming much more competitive even than our traditional
energy sources," said Cyrus Reed with the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. "With
the Obama Administration considering a much further-reaching
Renewables requirement, Texas is perfectly poised to step
forward and lead in the Solar, Geothermal, and Sustainable
Biomass fields. We are delighted with the number of bills
filed that will promote clean energy, reduce greenhouse gas
emissions, and create the green jobs we desperately need
in Texas. We are confident that the legislators will work
out how to agree on these highly valuable goals."
Advocates for increasing renewable energy in the State recognize that with the growing number of industrial players ready to deliver the State's generous clean energy capacity and with many Legislators stepping up to the task, political agreement and united willpower is the last remaining door that must be opened.
With a nod to this week's St. Patrick's Day celebrations, Tom 'Smitty'
Smith, Director of Public Citizen's Texas office quoted a piece of ancient Irish wisdom, "It
takes more than luck to reap the renewable energy future,
it takes planting the seeds for success and nurturing them."