Get to Know your State Legislators
When environmentalists express an interest to divest from the pernicious fossil fuel industry in order to have a cleaner planet, our opponents cry, “Are you going to give up your car and your heat in your house? You drive a car, don’t you?”
I ask you, what options do we have?
We have precious few choices, given that gas and oil lobbies have actively suppressed governmental research money and subsidies needed to advance the use of alternative energy and fuels.
For decades, donations have flooded the campaigns of politicians who will enact legislation to benefit BIG OIL and GAS (ie. eminent domain laws, suspension of environmental protection laws). Look at the example of the influence of Energy Transfer Partners (Valero, Sunoco, etc.) on the state of Texas by placing Kelcy Warren on the Board of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.
He now gets to vote on the use of public lands for his pipeline easements. His corporation sparked the Standing Rock opposition of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Now we unite against the Permian Highway Pipeline of Kinder Morgan.
We, the people, have no options for personal transportation other than gasoline internal combustion engines because of the lobbying and the money the major fossil fuel companies put up to deter any competition.
We have costly hybrids that are far from being mainstream. The fossil fuel industry fights against any incentives and subsidies towards wind and solar.
On the other hand, fossil fuel companies receive many financial incentives and tax breaks to develop their profit margins at the expense of taxpayers. What we have is subsidies and incentives going to fossil fuel companies and not to wind and solar because of their lobbying “power”.
Here is a current headline referring to the 86th Texas Legislative session:
Wind opponents argue that subsidies for renewable energy depress prices, reducing incentives for investment in fossil fuel development.
The fact is wind power has brought energy prices down! Texas has been a leader in utilizing wind farms for energy. Low-cost renewable energy has benefitted Texas consumers and contributed to the state economy as a dominant and growth industry.
WIND and SOLAR ENERGY CUTS INTO FOSSIL FUEL PROFITS
So there is an unprecedented attack on renewable energy during this year’s legislative session. The Texas Public Policy Foundation, essentially an arm of fossil fuel industry, is campaigning to gut subsidies and local tax incentives for wind and solar power (They don’ t have to disclose their backers as they operate as 501C).
They want to stop the momentum of wind and solar power in our state. If we can keep this push moving forward, we can shift our state from fossil fuels to alternatives now. The Texas Observer has tied this lobbying organization to EXXON and other fossil fuel corporations.
It is critical to voice your opinion before the session ends. You can contact your Senator and Representative to voice your support for continued subsidies and incentives for alternative energy sources.
I hate to admit it, this year was the very first time I have walked into the state Capitol to talk to my state Senator and Representative. It helps to have Erin Zweiner representing me!
Nonetheless, I also approached Senator Donna Campbell as she ran away, furiously punching the elevator buttons hoping to leave quickly before we could get on it with her. My point is this… no matter what… the time is now to contact your state officials to let them know that their constituents are fed up with the special treatment of the fossil fuel industry.
We want cheaper, cleaner options.
Another important issue to neighbors in Caldwell, Blanco, Hays, Kimble and Gillespie counties is about eminent domain.
Do you think that private corporations that are using pipelines to export to Asia and other foreign ports should claim “eminent domain” on your land?
The idea of “common carrier” right to eminent domain is to provide utility service, not for export and private profit.
Do you see the connection here?
Follow the money.
- Gas and oil threaten our homes and our economy with the risk of pipelines.
- There are fossil fuel interests intent on shutting down the burgeoning wind industry in Texas.
“WHAT CAN I DO?”
Please speak up for what is important to you.
These are bipartisan recommendations. Everybody in Texas can help preserve what we love about living in the Hill Country.
Texas groundwater and Texas’ natural resources need to be legislatively protected and conserved for Texas families.
Do you support Rep Zwiener’s HB 3324 requiring pipeline operators to have an approved groundwater impact contingency plan?
Copy and paste the list of email addresses below – the members of the Natural Resources Committee – and email them to let them hear your voice.
Again, this is bipartisan common sense. Everybody in Texas can help.
Wind power in Texas is often seen as one of the state’s great success stories. It’s grown so much in the last 20 years that the state now leads the country in the amount of electricity it generates from wind.
This KUT radio show excerpt supports the statements in this blog and further informs on what is going on at the Capitol until May 2019.