April 23rd, 2009
Hope all y’all had a nice Earth Day yesterday! Folks generally are noting a sense of hopefulness and excitement this Earth Day, compared to last year.
For example, there’s a raft of good bills working their way through the Texas Legislature. TLCV board president Jim Marston, along with Ken Kramer of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club and Tom “Smitty” Smith of Public Citizen, talked about the hopefulness – and urgency – of this Earth Day in an op-ed in yesterday’s Austin American-Statesman:
This session, [Texas legislators] have an opportunity and responsibility to save us even more money on our electricity bills, create thousands of green jobs and reduce pollution across the state. The Legislature now has less than six weeks to pass the best of nearly 100 bills on clean power and green jobs. These energy efficiency and renewable energy bills set the stage for rebuilding, re-powering and renewing our state’s economy during tough times. They will build a sustainable future for Texas.
Smitty goes on to say (in the Texas Observer’s Floor Pass blog):
“There are more good bills in the lege session than I can keep up with,” Smitty says. “It is reminiscent of the 1991 legislative session when Ann Richards was elected and there was a wave of reform. This is the best session I’ve had in 18 years.”
And it isn’t just the usual suspects saying interesting things around Earth Day. Rep. David Swinford of Amarillo (who earned an unimpressive 31% on the League’s 2007 Scorecard), has seen the light. Laying out his solar incentive bill, HB 3405, Rep. Swinford said, “Solar fits Texas like a glove.” He made an excellent case for why the state should make an early investment in solar energy production. Texas, he said, should not miss out on the chance to establish major solar manufacturing businesses here. Our state can become the leader in yet another energy sector. Solar is smart business for Texas, and Rep. Swinford knows it. Here’s hoping the rest of the Texas Legislature does, too!
There was plenty going on around Earth Day this year, and much of it was about the bright future for our state that legislators in Austin are working towards — here’s hoping they don’t get derailed, and that good bills don’t get vetoed by Governor Perry, at the end of the lege session.