Time to read: 6 minutes
Date: May 23, 2023
Texans love the Lone Star State’s environment. Initiatives and organizations that work towards making Texas a better, cleaner place for all Texans are important. This is especially true when it comes to energy legislation and other decisions that impact Texans and the lands that they love.
In this article, we’re going to be going over the Alliance for a Clean Texas. We’ll be paying close attention to the things that they’ve spread awareness of in the past, as well as things that they are currently focused on. We’ll also cover how they tie into the solar industry. But first things first – let’s go over what the Alliance is and what organizations it is composed of.
The Alliance for a Clean Texas
ACT, short for Alliance for a Clean Texas, is an alliance of many different organizations from all over Texas. These groups have partnered together to work towards cleaner, healthier communities. Many groups that have joined the alliance are consumer rights, public interest, faith, and environmental groups. They accomplish this by spreading awareness of legislation on energy and environmental decisions.
Many of their campaigns involve calling attention to large legislative decisions and contacting relevant representatives to express their concerns or opposition to choices that could negatively impact Texans and the environment. They also spread awareness of legislation that would benefit the environment and energy usage. These campaigns often involve emailing Texas state senators, and goals for the number of emails sent are also established.
Energy Legislations and ACT
There has been increased legislation for energy in Texas, especially after Winter Storm Uri caused historic power outages. Let’s go over some examples of topics that ACT has addressed that pertain to the issues the public is more aware of thanks to the 2021 winter storm.
Weatherization of critical infrastructure
One of the issues that gained more widespread attention after Winter Storm Uri was the weatherization of natural gas supply and other infrastructure in Texas. During the 2021 winter storm, gas wells froze over and the pipeline compressors needed lost power. This was the result of not weatherizing the necessary equipment and machinery to withstand storms like Winter Storm Uri. Ultimately, according to the University of Houston, Winter Storm Uri caused approximately $295 billion in damages. This eclipses the damage cost of all other previous natural disasters in Texas history. When the Railroad Commission proposed a rule that would allow natural gas supply chains to simply opt-out of weatherizing their equipment and machinery, ACT brought attention to it and began a campaign to tell the Railroad Commission that it needs to make the weatherizing of equipment and machinery mandatory.
Attention brought to anti renewable energy legislation
In the last few years since Winter Storm Uri, an issue that the state has been trying to address has been how to avoid blackouts and generate more power. Rather than focusing more on renewable energy, senators have instead submitted proposals that provide large benefits to power generators that use fossil fuels rather than solar or wind power. ACT has repeatedly brought attention to these bills and what Texans can do about them.
Increasing awareness of expanding fossil fuel usage
Many of the bills proposed by the Texas house and senate aim to increase the amount of fossil fuels burned in the Lone-Star State to generate power. This not only increases the dependence on fossil fuels in order to create electricity, it also increases the cost of electricity for Texans. Power generators are using more and more fossil fuels and the cost is placed on Texans.
ACT and solar power
The Texas Senate has recently passed anti-wind and anti-solar power bills. ACT created a campaign focused on getting Texans to email their Texas state representatives to tell them that they need to vote no on bills that oppose renewable energy. Three senate bills in particular stood out to ACT, and attention was brought to them in order to oppose them. The three bills are SB 6, SB 1287, and SB 2015.
SB 6 calls for roughly 20 power plants to be built in Texas for backup power generation. ACT calls attention to this senate bill for several reasons. First, the cost to Texans to construct these plants would be massive. Second, the plants would be constructed near large cities with massive populations. This means that the air quality for the residents of these cities would suffer. Air with increased levels of pollution would hit areas such as Houston or Dallas. Third, it ignores renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. It does this while creating loan funds with zero interest for existing and future generation. This means that the PUC (Public Utility Commission of Texas) and the state itself would be loaning the money.
Senate bill 1287 was proposed in order to change the existing policy on transmission and interconnection costs. The idea is to do so by creating new transmission fees. Also referred to by some as one of two “anti renewable energy bills”, SB 1287 requires electricity generators to be constructed close to large populations. According to ACT, this discourages electrical generation from rural areas that use renewable energy sources such as wind turbines or solar farms.
This particular senate bill creates a state mandate-goal regarding what is called dispatchable energy generation. Dispatchable energy is defined as coal, nuclear power, or natural gas. The requirement set forth by this bill is that at least 50% of all new generators constructed in Texas to be dispatchable energy generators. This poses a problem to the investment and construction of renewable energy sources in Texas. Additionally, it would require Texas state regulators to market gas-generated power as being green energy.
ACT makes Texas an even better place for renewable energy
Even if legislation aims to make it more difficult for renewable energy in Texas, ACT is here to help. While fossil fuels and anti-renewable legislation is still an issue for Texas, ACT is there to let people know what is happening so that renewable energy can be allowed to grow and flourish. Solar power systems are still one of the best investments that you can make. This is especially true for long-term energy stability, reliability, and savings. When you install a solar powered system with backup batteries and a Generac home standby generator, you get a complete and self-sufficient system that will keep your home running no matter the situation.
We have made it our mission to be a source of truth in renewable energy. Our team believes that accurate solar and backup power education is the foundation for making the best decision when choosing a system that fits your needs. If you are considering installing a backup generator or switching to solar for your home or business, reach out to us by going to our website, iestxsolar.com, or by giving us a call at (855) 447-6527.
If you are considering installing a backup generator or switching to solar for your home or business, reach out to us by going to our website, iestxsolar.com, or by giving us a call at (855) 447-6527.
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