Commentary: I’m Georgetown mayor. We raise a glass to renewable energy

I want to thank the American-Statesman for publishing the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s editorial concerning Georgetown’s move to 100 percent renewable energy. The city of Georgetown has been fortunate to receive coverage from across the world regarding our energy portfolio. One analysis shows that the move to renewables has garnered over 2.1 billion impressions around the globe, which is equivalent to a $20 million advertising campaign.

It’s refreshing to get some coverage that challenges the overwhelming support we have received. Our community started making the move to renewable energy in 2008. At that time, the city had a goal of 30 percent renewable energy by 2030. In 2010, Southwestern University approached the city to see what could be done to offset their energy use with renewables. As a city that values fostering relationships with our community and key stakeholders, we gladly contracted with AEP Energy partners to help accomplish this goal.

COMMENTARY: Myth, not renewable energy, generates Georgetown’s buzz.

In 2012, Georgetown ended our contract with the Lower Colorado River Authority for energy, and we were free to purchase power in the open market. In our search for new energy sources, we had a few key goals: keep costs competitive, secure fixed-pricing, and mitigate risk. Because of our relatively small size — and because Georgetown was not contractually tied to a large coal or natural gas power plant — it turned out that contracting for 144 megawatts of wind power and 154 megawatts of solar power was the best choice for our city.

The decision to execute these contracts was predominantly a financial one. The city did not set-out to influence other energy providers or shakeup the state grid. We know that Texas is reliant on traditional sources of energy. We know it is impossible to track an electron produced in West Texas all the way to Georgetown. However, we also know that state attributes all of wind farm and solar farm production with Georgetown. Georgetown has been paying for 100 percent renewable energy since April 2017.

POLITICS: How Georgetown’s GOP mayor became a hero to climate change evangelists.

We simply wanted to provide predictable and competitive power to our customers. In fact, our move to renewable energy has been good for business and tourism in Georgetown. Our very own Rentsch Brewery describes its beer as, “Brewed with Texas wind and Texas water by Texas people.” I would argue that the decision to move to renewables is right in line with TPPF’s mission to “defend liberty, personal responsibility, and free enterprise.”

One final note: Others have already addressed TPPF’s brazen oversight of fossil fuel subsidies when highlighting concerns about renewable energy. However, if TPPF is really interested in the effects of renewables on birds, they will be flabbergasted to learn that house cats and cell towers kill exponentially more birds each year, according to a study. As a cat person and cellphone user, I plead with TPPF to not fight to take my cats and phones away.

HOW TO SEND A LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Click this link to submit your thoughts.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Opinion

Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke will talk about your head at Austin Book Arts Center fundraiser
Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke will talk about your head at Austin Book Arts Center fundraiser

  Austin Book Arts Center, which lets you, the reader and lover of books, engage in the art of bookmaking, has announced its third annual fall fundraiser. The shindig will feature KOOP’s Greg Ciotti as master of ceremonies,  Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke of KUT’s Two Guys on Your Head fame will discuss your brain on books...
Facebook comments: Aug. 21, 2018
Facebook comments: Aug. 21, 2018

As reported by the American-Statesman’s Shonda Novak, the French retailer Chanel is planning to build a manufacturing facility in Austin, according to county deed records and documents filed with the city. Deed records show the company purchased 50 acres east of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport through a real estate holding company it controls...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 21, 2018

I purchased a new 2018 Tesla all-electric vehicle this year. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Texas Emissions Reduction Plan program offers $2,500 rebates on new electric vehicles. The rebate’s mission is to encourage residents to buy clean energy vehicles ( Teslas are not eligible for this...
Opinion: Kansas governor’s race might be a test for Trumpism

Recent days have me wondering what Kansas’ fifth governor — James Madison Harvey — would say about the pickle the state find itself in now. Harvey, a Republican, is my relative by marriage. He married Charlotte Cutter, whose sister is my great grandmother. To the inevitable reader who will doubt that someone with the last name of...
Opinion: The White Strategy

In the aftermath of the 2012 election, when just about everyone assumed Mitt Romney lost because he didn’t win enough Hispanic votes, election analyst Sean Trende produced a dissenting take. A close look at the results across the Midwest and Appalachia revealed a large population of what Trende called “missing white voters” &mdash...
More Stories