At a utility headquartered near Lake Austin, Ed Wendler, an all-pro fixer, found the perfect candidate for Kenetech, a California wind power company that wanted to make inroads into Texas: the Lower Colorado River Authority, one of the most political institutions in a highly political town.
The LCRA’s storied history begins in the 1930s, when the state decided to build massive dams that would hold water, control the flooding that plagued places like Austin, and deliver hydroelectric power to the impoverished Texas Hill Country — a cause championed by an aspiring young congressman, Lyndon B. Johnson.
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This article is an excerpt from ‘The Great Texas Wind Rush: How George Bush, Ann Richards, and a Bunch of Tinkerers Helped the Oil and Gas State Win the Race to Wind Power.’ The book, being published this month by the University of Texas Press, chronicles Texas’ rise to become the top-ranked state in wind-generated electricity. The authors are journalists Asher Price of the Austin American-Statesman and Kate Galbraith, formerly of the Texas Tribune.