Tag Archives: Sustainable energy

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

Wednesday November 17th

Thursday November 18th

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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Despite the Obvious Downside, Texas is Still Trying to Build Coal Plants

Check out the expose on the truth behind coal from Texas Tribune writer Kate Galbraith.  Texas is a the forefront of the battle to change the infrastructure of our country by investing in clean energy which would create so many more jobs than coal and wouldn’t cause such terrible health problems.

Governor Perry’s TCEQis trying to fastrack new air permits for coal plants before new EPA regulations are in place that would protect our health.  It’s just ridiculous that TCEQ is trying to get around STRONGER, health based air quality standards.  Personally, I am thankful for the EPA and I also think they need to do a whole lot more to clean up the mess Perry has gotten us into.  Thankfully, TCEQ is undergoing it’s once a decade overview and you can tell your elected officials that you want a better TCEQ.

We deserve a cleaner Texas.  Coal is not in the future that I see.

Please share this article from the Tribune with your friends and family.

Despite Pollution Worries, Texas Builds Coal Plants

by Kate Galbraith
October 13, 2010

So what if coal, the dirtiest of the fossil fuels, faces tightening air-pollution standards from federal regulators? Texas — probably more than any other state — is aggressively building new coal plants.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

–Eva Hernandez, Beyond Coal Campaign, Texas Sierra Club

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Obama knows we’re right!

Sierra Club and Obama agree that creating clean energy jobs is the way to go!

Last week, in his weekly address, Obama announced that a solar energy company will put 1,000 people to work building a new facility in this blogger’s home state of California.  This solar power plant will power 140,000 homes and will be the biggest plant of its kind.

In order to rebuild our economy we have to invest in jobs here “and there is perhaps no industry with more potential to create jobs now – and growth in the coming years – than clean energy.”

This is exactly why Texas Sierra Club opposes the outdated and dirty coal industry and instead supports a clean energy economy lead by solar and wind power.   Currently, Texas is the leader in wind energy BUT also in the production of coal.  While the rest of the country is moving beyond coal, Texas’s broken state environmental agency (TCEQ) continues to pursue it by issuing illegal permits to proposed coal-fired power plants.

We say: out with the old and dirty and in with the new and clean! It’s better for our future, our families, our health and our security.   Clean energy jobs just make more sense.

Go to http://www.sierraclub.org/coal/tx/ to learn more about dirty coal in Texas.

Obama’s weekly address: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/10/02/weekly-address-president-obama-lauds-clean-energy-projects-key-creating

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Come one, come all to Renewable Roundup!

What started as a few people milling around Fredericksburg in the early fall has turned into a true festival full of renewable energy companies, advocacy groups, policy ideas, excellent speakers and all the latest gadgets, from electric cars to smart meters. So please come this weekend to the Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair, from Friday September 24th at High Noon to Sunday at 3 Pm, Market Square, Fredericksburg, just some 90 miles west of Austin and a similar distance from San Antone. Sierra Club will be there in attendance, promoting our green, clean energy solutions to our economic and environmental crisis. You can show up at the door and purchase tickets (not to mention a few cool items and great food), or you can preregister at the website, or YOU CAN GO FOR FREE by volunteering.

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