Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Texas State Government and Investors Pledge $10B to Wind Power

I just finished writing a post for Treehugger (up in the morning) lamenting the increasing slide of energy and global warming issues towards the bottom of the pile of topics receiving substantive political debate this election season. While I'll stand by that assessment, especially compared to the relative rush to jump on board the renewables bandwagon earlier this year, Preston at Jetson Green notes that these issues are playing a role in the Texas governor's race. Today On Monday, Gov. Rick Perry announced a $10 billion public-private investment in wind energy for the state. According to the Austin Business Journal:

The state of Texas will partner with private-sector parties to invest more than $10 billion in new wind energy infrastructure.

The wind energy initiative will diversify the state's energy production, clean up the air and help Texas surpass its renewable energy goals, Gov. Rick Perry said in an announcement Monday at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Under the partnership, private companies will make the capital investments in wind energy generation and the Public Utility Commission will direct the construction of additional transmission lines to deliver the power.

For every 1,000 megawatts generated by new wind sources, Texas will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by six million tons over the next 20 years, the governor's office said. The investment also will provide a boost to the economy, Perry said.

"With this $10 billion announcement, the economic ripple will be more like a tidal wave as these companies pour millions of dollars into wages and salaries for Texas workers," he said.

Preston notes that Perry is a bit late to this party, as he's also supported the building of 16-17 coal-fired power plants in the state (again, not the "clean coal" variety), and candidate Kinky Friedman (god, I love writing that, even if he's a bit loopy) has been pushing for much bolder renewable development. It probably is political grandstanding, but it's very good to see that politicians view renewable energy development as a grandstandable (?) topic. Texans... any thoughts?

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