Just when it looked like Texas might be prioritizing clean energy over dirty, this happens:
The Texas Legislature is moving to erect barriers to clean energy development while providing incentives for fossil fuel production. This would make the task of reducing emissions much harder. And it comes even though oil and gas production has continued to grow, though not at the pace of the market’s embrace of wind and solar…
I showed Swamp Rabbit the NY Times op/ed and he said, “I don’t get it. Ain’t you the one told me Texas was a red state that was trending blue by encouraging companies to build wind and solar? Didn’t you say them varmints bowed to market pressure and made laws that allowed renewables to catch on in a big way? And that investors in wind and solar created thousands of new jobs and raised tax money to help dirt-poor counties get by?”
“They did,” I replied. “And some of the giant dirty energy companies are cashing in on the renewables trend. But a core group of rich fossil fuel hustlers and the Republican office holders who do their bidding want to hit the brakes on renewables. The yahoos down there are still in charge.”
My mangy friend looked puzzled. “”What you mean by yahoos? That’s one of them search engines, right?”
I explained to him that, in Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift invented Houyhnhnms, a race of highly civilized talking horses who guard against the incursion of ignorant, disgusting humans called yahoos. “The real-world modern equivalent of yahoos are humans who reject life-saving vaccines and ban books and love AR-15s and laugh at rape victims and cheer for Donald Trump and ignore global warming and –“
“Alright, I get it,” Swamp Rabbit said. “But what do the rich peeps got to do with it? Ain’t you confusing them with the rubes who prop up the rich by voting for little monsters like Governor Greg Abbott? It sounds like the peeps with no money are the real yahoos.”
“They’re all yahoos, you dope. Being rich doesn’t make you more humane or thoughtful or environmentally conscious. The opposite is usually true.”
I reminded him that Abbott, after a cold snap in 2021 that knocked out electric power for ten million people, tried to blame the power failure on wind turbines, when in fact it was largely the result of outages at gas and coal power plants.
“Abbott is a poster boy for yahoos all over the country,” I said. “He’s helping the rich by making sure the world is wrecked by climate change.”
Swamp Rabbit shrugged and snapped open a can of beer. “I guess he’s doing a good job of it. Seems like they love him in Texas.”
By what percentage is clean energy more expensive for the purchaser?
It depends on which state you’re in, and which utility you purchase it from and, sometimes, on what time of the year you sign on to use it as an alternative to fossil fuel-sourced electricity. Sometimes it doesn’t cost any more than the dirty stuff, though that doesn’t happen often in Pennsylvania, where I live.