September 29, 2014

Texas Comptroller tells Lege to start favoring oil and gas more

If wind power's not going to get special tax breaks, and never has gotten road repair subsidies or similar, isn't that really Comptroller Susan Combs' actual message, what I put in the header, and not her strident screech that wind power needs to be cut off from the state tax teat?

I'm not alone in saying that, either:
Jeff Clark, executive director of The Wind Coalition, said Combs’ report is unbalanced, misinformed and repeats the “flawed talking points pushed by the anti-renewables lobby.” 
“Texas’ wind energy industry has now invested more than $26 billion in 56 counties across Texas and provides 10 percent of the state’s electricity supply cleanly, reliably, cheaply, and without using water,” Clark said. 
Furthermore, he said, the wind power installed in Texas will avoid 23,103,000 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year, the equivalent of taking 4,075,000 cars off the road. 
Clark also notes that the state continues to heavily subsidize the oil and gas industry at the same time.
And, that's far more than allegedly "clean" fracked natural gas will do, those green energy figures.

Clark also isn't alone. Note this:
Environmentalists criticized the report, saying it took a blinkered approach to energy policy. 
It understates the subsidies given to natural gas, nuclear and coal plants, said Tom Smith, head of the Austin office of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, and “ignores totally the costs of hidden environmental damages caused by these types of plants — such as the wastes from coal mining, fracking or nuclear power generation.” 
Russel Smith, head of the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association, said he had no comment on the Combs report, but in June he told the Statesman that rolling back support for wind power “ignores the obvious — that all energy sources have and continue to receive governmental support.”
Per comments in this piece by State Sen. Troy Fraser, the real issues is that the O&G industry has long, and historically well-developed, lobbying tentacles.

Plus, we haven't even talked about solar power, an area where Texas, despite its semi-tropical location, large amounts of sun (especially in West Texas, where higher altitude also helps) and other advantages, lags sadly behind other states.

As for Combs? As Texas Public Citizen showed three years ago, Combs has a long history of fighting renewable energy, speaking of O&G tentacles.

She also has a long history of being subservient to it in anti-environmental ways, as just documented again.

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