Yesterday, ERCOT released the report “Impact of Environmental Regulations in the ERCOT Region,” which is their analysis of how safeguards and protections such as the Clean Power Plan, regional haze rule, and mercury pollution limits might affect reliability in Texas' unique energy market. While the report is useful and correctly notes that the pollution problem in Texas comes from a smaller number of old and dirty fossil fuel plants, it omits data and information that are critical to making good decisions on the Texas energy market. The Lone Star Chapter released this detailed response.
[Original post: Terrence Henry, StateImpact Texas, Dec. 18, 2014]
Texas is rightfully known as an oil and gas state, but it’s also a national leader when it comes to wind energy. To learn what that means for the state’s future, KUT's Terrence Henry traveled to the worldwide leader in wind power: Denmark. Listen to his report on the country’s offshore wind success (this is part two of a three part series on renewable energy and sustainability in Europe and lessons for Texas.
[Original post: Terrence Henry, StateImpact, Dec. 17, 2014]
About an hour’s drive outside of Sevilla’s old city, past grazing black-footed pigs and olive orchards sits the Abengoa Solucar complex. Imagine cresting a hill and then all of the sudden seeing several large towers, over 500 feet high, with hundreds of beams of light striking them, solar rays from an army of mirrors arrayed in a circle on the ground below. They’re called heliostats.
December has been a big month for energy efficient buildings in Texas. First, after nearly two years of deliberation, San Antonio is poised to be the first city in Texas to adopt the most up to date building energy codes. Second, the state’s analysis of the 2015 codes resulted in an official recommendation to the new Comptroller (Glenn Hegar) to adopt the 2015 codes for the whole state. Fun fact: the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) received approximately 1,750 supportive comments from Sierra Club members and supporters. That was 75% of all the comments SECO received. Your effort gave SECO crucial support! Well done and thanks!
Shortly before midnight, Austin City Council passed a historic generation plan that would affordably achieve 55% renewable energy for the city by 2025, and rid it of its oldest dirtiest fossil fuel plants. Sierra Club and many other organizations worked tirelessly through the day and night to improve this plan and see it pass. Below is our press release. Obviously, we'll have much more to share soon, so stay tuned!
[Press Release from Sierra Club Lower Rio Grande Valley Group]
Brownsville, Texas – The Lower Rio Grande Valley Sierra Club issued a report today laying out the environmental impacts of the five proposed Liquefied Natural Gas Export Terminals planned for the Port of Brownsville. While many local elected officials are touting the economic benefits of the projects, the environmental group notes that the proposed facilities will bring industrial pollution, the risk of disaster, and habitat destruction to the Rio Grande Valley.