Tag Archives: Sustainable energy

Who’s gotta ACT? We do!

Texas State Capitol: North side by night

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Friend,
RSVP for ACT Lobby Day Today!
Here’s the SCHEDULE of events.  On March 15th, Texans from all corners of the state will be in Austin, visiting our elected officials and letting them know that we want them to protect our land, our water, and our health.
We need to let them know that we want a beautiful Texas and a clean energy future! Will you join us?
Texans have felt the consequences of lenient regulations for big polluters for far too long. Pollution has destroyed pecan farmers’ livelihoods in Fayette County, worsened air quality in Dallas and Houston, and caused an incredibly high birth defect rate in Corpus Christi.
It’s time to talk to our representatives about our vision for Texas — healthy families, big blue skies and our historic rivers. Sign up for Lobby Day today!

We’ll be asking our legislators to:

  • Hold Texas polluters accountable for their pollution
  • Help tranisition our state to a clean energy future by retiring our oldest and dirtiest coal plants
  • Establish a state-wide clean energy goal
  • Protect Water Quality and Availability
  • Keep funding our state parks
  • We need your help to show our legislators that Texans want new jobs in clean energy.

Check out the details below and RSVP today!
WHAT: ACT Lobby Day
WHEN: March 14th and 15th (We can help with hotels and transportation to Austin)  See SCHEDULE.
WHERE: Texas State Capitol, 1100 Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78701.  1. Get a map to find the Capitol. 2. Get maps of the Capitol floor plan!
RSVP:  http://action.sierraclub.org/LobbyDay

QUESTIONS: Contact Lydia Avila, lydia.avila@sierraclub.org

Thanks for all you do to protect our environment!
Sincerely,
Ken Kramer
Lone Star Chapter Director
Sierra Club
P.S. Numbers speak volumes to our public officials so please forward this to invite your friends, family and neighbors today! You never know who may be waiting for an opportunity to speak up.

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Austin City Council finally… officially.. adopts Austin Clean Energy Plan

After development of an affordability matrix this year, and after approval by the Electric Utility Commission, the Resource Management Committee, the Generation Task Force, and anyone else that mattered in 2010, and after initially approving it in April of 2010 — but requiring an affordability matrix — City Council finally took action.  The Lone Star Chapter and Austin Group of the Sierra Club commend the  Austin City Council  for finally — on a 7-0 — approving the Austin Energy Climate Protection and Generation Resource Plan for 2020 last week, which sets a goal of 35 percent renewable energy and 800 MWs of energy demand reduction through energy efficiency by 2020. The plan also commits Austin Energy to conducting several additional studies to look at developing further plans for energy efficiency, the development of onsite renewables and a specific look at how to get out of our addiction to coal at the Fayette Power Plant by 2020. Stay tuned as we pressure Austin Energy and City Council to also honor these committments.

And as the first step in the Clean Energy Plan, Austin Energy put out an RFP last week for 200 MWs of wind and/or solar to companies. A bunch of companies are already scrambling to put an RFP out there to Austin Energy. Most likely it will be wind from West Texas, but stay tuned..

Cyrus Reed, Sierra Club, Lone Star Chapter

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Abundant Table for November

The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club has set an abundant feast of events for November and we want you to come to the table!  Look over this sumptuous calendar of options and join us in making a cleaner, greener Texas this November!

Saturday, Nov. 13 – Lone Star Chapter Legislative Workshop Dalchau Center, Austin, TX

TCEQ Sunset Town Halls continue!

Dallas-Ft. Forth Worth & San Antonio
Monday November 8th

Austin
Wednesday November 17th

Abilene
Thursday November 18th

Lubbock
Friday November 19th

Saturday, Nov. 20, Help Texas Roll Beyond Coal! Bike (or Surf!) for Clean Energy

We’ll  look for you at any…or all of these events!  Mark your calendar, to attend any or all of  the Sierra Club November feast of events.  Make new friends, and help make Texas a cleaner and greener place to live!

Eva Hernandez

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Roll Beyond Coal Events Getting Started Across Texas!

Hey folks, we’ve got Roll Beyond Coal (and possibly a Surf Beyond Coal!) events getting started in Austin, Houston, Dallas, Corpus Christi, Abilene, San Marcos… make sure you’re getting in on the action!

The weekend of November 19-20-21st, all across the state of Texas we’ll be calling on our leadership to clean up this state and Roll Beyond Coal to a Clean Energy Future.

If you want to get involved, email flavia.delafuente@sierraclub.org and we’ll get you started!

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We’re No. 32 in Energy Efficiency Programs! Sierra Club, Public Citizen and Environment Texas Cry Foul

Texas Stumbles Further on Energy Efficiency Rankings
AUSTIN – A new report released today by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranks Texas 32nd in the nation for programs to promote energy efficiency, a drop from last year’s ranking of 23 and the previous year’s ranking of 19.  A coalition of clean energy groups seized on the findings to call on the state of Texas to boost energy codes in buildings and establish an Energy Efficiency Office.

“Energy efficiency lowers the wholesale price of electricity and gas, which acts as a tax cut for Texas residents and businesses,” said Joyce Yao, Clean Energy Associate of Environment Texas. “While other states have made the necessarily investments in energy efficiency to help their residents save money, Texas continues to lag behind, forcing Texans to pay too much on energy bills. We need to create an independent state agency for energy efficiency to benefit consumers, save the state a substantial amount of money and streamline state processes.”

The coalition of clean energy groups also called on code officials across the state to support the Thirty Percent Solution at the International Code Council’s Final Action Hearings at the end of the month. This would increase energy codes by 30% over the 2006 IECC, and is part of a two-step process to achieve a 50% increase in energy efficiency by 2018, yielding a 20% reduction in fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions from our nation’s buildings by 2020.

While Texas was an early leader in energy efficiency investments, other states have dramatically increased their energy savings programs, leading to Texas’ decline in the overall state rankings. In a December 2008 report, the Public Utility Commission of Texas found vast potential for energy efficiency in the state which, if tapped, could save Texans as much $11.9 billion on their electric bills.

One explanation for why Texas lags on energy efficiency on the national level is the failure to have any statewide program to reduce natural gas use. Furthermore, due to inadequate tracking and coordination by the state, some efficiency efforts – such as municipal efficiency programs – are not being credited, which may have factored into Texas’s staggering drop in the ACEEE’s scorecard.  This further highlights the need for an independent Energy Efficiency Coordinating Council that can comprehensively track the state’s progress on energy efficiency measures.

“The Sunset Review of our main environmental, housing, water and energy agencies in Texas and the upcoming legislative session provide the perfect opportunity to see how our existing programs can be enhanced on energy efficiency, but also how we can at the same time save our businesses and residents money on gas and water bills,” said Cyrus Reed, Conservation Director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. “We need coordinated electric, gas and water conservation programs in Texas so we can save money, reduce pollution and create jobs for Texans.”

“This report indicates a dire need for reform of the way our state leaders treat the most consumer-friendly energy resource,” said Matthew Johnson, Energy Efficiency Research Associate at Public Citizen. “The silver lining to this sobering wake-up call is the coming legislative session. Legislators have an opportunity to bring the uncoordinated state agencies in line so Texans get a chance to learn and participate in the broad array of energy efficiency opportunities.”

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