Houston, Dallas Mayors Show Leadership in Supporting Clean Energy Economy for Texas

power lines unsplashWhen the President announced the first-ever national limits on carbon pollution from power plants last year, he recognized that this policy would not only reduce carbon pollution, but it would boost the development of a clean energy economy that is driving growth and prosperity across the nation.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Dallas Mayor Michael Rawlings are among the many leaders who recognize this opportunity in the Clean Power Plan. The mayors know that states and cities that join the race first, and run it the fastest, will win both more investment in clean technologies and less air pollution for their communities.

Of course, we will all benefit by reducing the impacts of climate change – including extreme heat, dangerous sea level rise, and more powerful storms. That fact was reinforced by new research released last week highlighting that sea-level rise may be happening almost twice as fast as the worst case prediction made by the United Nations just a few years ago.

A recent report outlines how Texas is poised not only to comply with and benefit from the Clean Power Plan, but the state can leverage its clean energy advantages to help other states comply. This could be achieved through both the sale of credits from surplus carbon emissions or emissions rate reductions, and the export of wind and solar energy to neighboring states. Businesses like Houston-based Calpine Corporation, the nation’s largest generator of electricity from natural gas and geothermal resources, recognize the tenants of successful market-based solutions in solving the climate crisis and are doing their part.

Newly elected Mayor Turner may have put it best:

Houston has made a commitment to investing in clean energy, and now uses more renewable energy than any other city in the United States. We are also a leader in the area of emissions reductions initiatives like our LED street light program, which is proving to be a very smart investment. As a city government entity located in the Energy Capital of the World, we understand the need to diversify our energy use and economy. Houston is well positioned to lead the country in the shift to clean energy. The Clean Power Plan provides a sensible framework for helping us to do so."

We applaud the leadership of those across Texas who recognize clean energy is good for business – as well as for the 6-million who live in areas like Houston, which are especially vulnerable to the harms of climate pollution.

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