The Texas Senate voted in mid-April to eliminate the state’s renewable energy standard (RES) with a party-line vote of 21-10. Senator Troy Fraser argued that the state had accomplished the RES and introduced SB 931 to repeal the law. But Fraser’s bill was met with opposition, who pointed out that the wind industry would lose confidence if legislators make the energy credit trading program a voluntary one. And with carbon dioxide regulations about to be finalized by the EPA, opponents of the bill said repealing the RES would hurt efforts to comply.
The opposition to the anti-clean energy bill was enough to prevent the House from moving the bill forward and it subsequently died with the end of the session. Fraser’s office declined comment on the bill’s defeat.
Those pushing for the repeal of the RES included the Heartland Institute and the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Heartland promoted Marita Noon’s misinformed blog attacking renewable energy policies, including Texas’ RES, claiming “it’s a bad time to be in the renewable energy industry,” despite record industry growth, private sector investment, and job creation.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation supported the bill, and its vice president of research, Bill Peacock, said, “Why can’t wind energy just survive on their own and compete like everybody else did in the level playing field?” Peacock made no mention of the billions in subsidies given to the oil, gas, coal, and utility industries.