Clean Energy Thriving in Texas. Why Are State GOPers Trying to Stifle It?

"Texas leads the nation for generating the most electricity from solar and wind and plays an outsized role in manufacturing electric vehicles. A slew of new bills could change that."

"Texas is leading the country when it comes to clean energy. But that hasn’t stopped state Republicans from introducing a bevy of new legislation that aims to stifle the state’s thriving clean energy industry, according to several recent news reports.

For several years in a row, the Lone Star State has generated the most electricity, by far, from wind and solar, producing nearly three times as much power from renewable sources last year as California. Texas is also playing an outsized role in manufacturing the nation’s electric vehicles. Tesla moved its headquarters to Texas in 2021 and announced plans to spend $770 million to expand its factories in the state earlier this year. The global manufacturing giant Siemens also announced late last year that it plans to significantly expand its production of EV charging stations in the state.

But last month, Republicans introduced a package of bills to the state legislature intended to punish renewable energy and boost fossil fuels, including a measure that would increase the amount of gas-fired electricity generated by the state by upwards of 10 gigawatts and one that would limit the development of renewable energy in the state based on how much natural gas generation is also being built. Another bill, introduced last week, would prevent state agencies from cooperating with federal agencies to enforce federal policy related to oil and gas production if they contradict state laws, which critics warned could violate the state’s constitution and cause confusion between local, state and federal government agencies.

In fact, those measures are just a handful of the dozens of Republican bills introduced to the state legislature in recent years that environmentalists and energy analysts say would harm local clean energy companies and jeopardize the nation’s larger climate goals."

Kristoffer Tigue reports for Inside Climate News April 14, 2023.

Source: Inside Climate News, 04/17/2023