DALLAS — Lawmakers in Austin are considering a slate of bills that specifically target renewable energy, and critics say if one measure in particular, SB 624, becomes law, it would make Texas no different than the old Soviet Union, where decisions for your property are made by the state, not you.
“This is a missile in search of a target and the target is renewable energy, the target is Texas consumers, the target is private property rights,” Jeff Clark told us on Y’all-itics.
Jeff Clark is the Texas-based President of Advanced Power Alliance, a pro-renewables group.
He says SB 624 would prevent Texas families from deciding what to do with their own land because it would make the permitting process for renewables much more onerous, and would apply retroactively to some companies.
The bill also requires that any potential project must alert counties within 25-miles that they are applying for a permit. Clark says that makes it much easier for neighbors to object to new wind and solar projects.
“I don’t know when it became the government’s business whether I take 100 acres of my land and use it for a solar farm, or take 100 acres of my land and use it for cotton,” Clark said. “That should be left to private property owners, not the administration in Austin.”
The measure would even grant the state police power to help regulate the wind and solar sector in an effort protect Texas’ “wildlife, water and land” against the impacts of renewable energy. No other energy source is mentioned as a threat.
And make no mistake about it, Texas is a well-known renewable energy state. With nearly $100 Billion worth of renewable energy investments over the past couple of decades, Texas is the dominant leader in wind power production and 2nd only to California in solar power production.
Clark says 26% of all energy in Texas comes from wind and solar.
“They’re creating a bureaucracy to target one industry. It should be frightening not just to people who care about renewable energy, it should frighten everyone who cares about industry and private property,” he said.
We hoped to have the bill’s author, Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, join us on this episode of Y’all-itics to explain her legislation, but the Senator’s staff did not respond to our request.
So, what happens if Texas takes a hard right turn from this billion dollar industry? Listen to the entire episode to find out more. Cheers!