Nov 18, 2011

TX mayor pledges to make Austin Coal-Free

Wednesday, Austin, TX Mayor Lee Leffingwell announced his bid for reelection and highlighted a campaign promise,
"to begin a dialogue with the community, with Austin Energy, with the LCRA, and with state officials, about how to make Austin coal-free - and aggressively plan a date to achieve that goal."
Mayor Leffingwell

Austin's electricity utility is municipally-owned. The city's electric service territory is regulated by the state such that "Austin Energy" has a monopoly over local consumers, providing 100% of local electricity. Revenues from the utility are used to fund City operations and programs.

Austin's coal plant provides about 600 megawatts of electricity to the community on a daily basis and is overwhelmingly responsible for the majority of community carbon and toxic air pollution, water use, and health injury costs.

I've written extensively about the economic benefits and opportunities related to moving on from this "clunker" since 2009.

This announcement is a real paradigm shift for the mayor (any political leader) and a huge step forward for Austin's environment, health, and economy.

No comments: