Barrett Sundberg

2 Feb, 2021

The Texas Legislature, which meets only once every two years, is now in session. The “Lege” is considering several proposed laws that may affect climate change.

Possibly the most sweeping has been filed by our own Senator, Sarah Eckhardt. House Bill 307 would set the goal that Texas’ power generation will produce net zero carbon dioxide by the year 2035. That’s nearly as fast as the 2030 goal set by many activists, and far faster than the goal of 2050 set in Joe Biden’s campaign platform. The bill’s method “mirrors the renewable energy credit system created by the Legislature in 1999. Generators that exceed the carbon goals can sell credits to generators that are lagging behind,” according to Eckhart policy director Damien Brockmann. One technology is not favored over another, so companies can use any means of their choice to achieve the goal.

Another major proposal, House Bill 896, would establish state standards to limit methane emissions from oil and gas wells. Since Texas is a major producer of these emissions, HB 896 could have global impact if passed. Another notable bill is HB 711, which would require safety performance standards for petroleum plants and chemical plants that have frequently failed and led to pollution in communities. Since East Austin has previously had dangerous emissions from petroleum tanks, we can appreciate this bill.

WPNA is hosting an in-depth discussion of these and more, including the question of how neighbors affect legislation, on February 17 at 7:00 pm by Facebook Livestream. Panelists answering our questions will include Matt Johnson, an expert from the Sierra Club, and Damien Brockmann from Senator Eckhardt’s office. Members of other neighborhoods are also being invited to submit questions and view the discussion; feel free to share this widely. See the video on facebook here also on if you prefer and at the Windsor Park Climate Shrinker page.    


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