Thursday, August 17, 2006

Friedman Pushes Bold Renewable Plan in Texas

Yep, that's Friedman as in Kinky Friedman: musician, novelist and all-around eccentric. He's running for governor of Texas, and, according to the Houston Chronicle, is pushing a much more ambitious renewable energy plan for the Lone Star state than either Republican governor Rick Perry (I know -- hard to imagine), and Democratic challenger Chris Bell:
"Texas was once the world's leading energy producer," Friedman said in a written policy statement. "We have the resources to be self-sufficient. We have enormous solar, wind and biofuel capabilities. What we lack is leadership."

Friedman proposed increasing Texas' current "renewable portfolio standard" and committing to a plan to have Texas generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by the year 2020. He said the state's capacity to generate energy from wind, solar and biofuel sources is 400 times greater than the amount Texas is currently using.

"Renewable energy sources can be found in every corner of the Lone Star State. Why aren't we tapping into them?" he said.

I suppose it would be easy to dismiss Kinky's candidacy, but, of course, we all thought that about Jesse Ventura, too... As I read the rest of the article, it's pretty clear the Friedman has a strong grasp on the issues, and is pushing sensibly aggressive policy changes on energy production in Texas. Given the fact that TXU, the state's utility, is pushing for the construction of 11 new coal-fired power plants, none of which will use the latest technology for cleaning emissions, I'd say Texas needs more voices like Kinky's. I can't endorse him, as this is the first attention I've paid to the race, but given the positions I read about here, I sure wouldn't mind seeing him win. If any Texas readers want to chime in (I know you're out there), please do. Looks it will be an fun campaign to watch...

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