AUSTIN - Austin Energy ranks first in the nation among municipally owned utilities for per capita solar installed, according to the seventh edition of an annual report by Environment Texas Research & Policy Center. Shining Cities 2020: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy found that by supplying more than 1,500 watts per person of solar energy to its customers, Austin Energy edged out the municipally owned utilities of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Antonio.
Austin Community College (ACC) announced a plan yesterday to power two campuses, ACC Round Rock and ACC Elgin, with 100 percent renewable electricity beginning in June 2020. With this announcement, ACC joins other higher education leaders in Texas such as Southwestern University and the University of North Texas in shifting to clean, renewable electricity. ACC is the first community college district in Texas to switch over some of its campuses entirely to wind and solar power. The announcement comes after Environment Texas Research and Policy Center was joined by 100 faculty in a letter in March encouraging ACC to continue its leadership by committing to transition off of fossil fuel energy.
“We applaud the city's commitment to electric vehicles, including 100% electric vehicles for its own fleet, partnering with METRO to electrify buses, and working to make 30% of new car purchases in Houston electric by 2030. The coronavirus crisis shows us that clean air is possible without so many polluting cars on the road. We don’t have to settle for dirty air again when life returns to normal.”
“I know we’re all getting used to Zoom, but were the Commissioners watching some other hearing last week?” asked Emma Pabst, Global Warming Solutions Associate with Environment Texas Research and Policy Center. “The proration hearing made strikingly clear that industry and environmentalists are united in calling for flaring cuts. Yet, the Commission voted to give out 16 more licenses to pollute today. It just doesn’t make any sense.”
Emma Pabst, Global Warming Solutions Associate with Environment Texas Research and Policy Center, will today deliver the following testimony to the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC): “I urge you to use the power granted to you by the great state of Texas in order to issue statewide production cuts, prorating cuts to companies with the worst rates of flaring. Such a step will help stabilize the market, while significantly reducing the damage from flaring.”
Environment Texas Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.