Taking Care of Texas & Promoting Renewable Energy

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This past Wednesday marked Earth Day, a day meant to promote awareness and appreciation of our natural environment.

There's a great opportunity to do something for the environment this Saturday, April 25th, when volunteers all across the state join forces for Texas' annual Adopt-A-Beach cleanup. This is important not only for the environment, but for our state's economy. Clean, beautiful beaches are key to our tourism industry and our fishermen.

To locate and register for a Texas Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup in your area, visit:

www.TexasAdoptABeach.org

Taking care of Texas also means doing our part to reduce fossil fuel consumption and minimize emissions that can harm our air quality. One way to do this is to promote the use of renewable energy technology. Earlier this week, the House Committee on Energy Resources held a hearing on my bill that exempts small-scale renewable energy devices for homes and businesses from state sales tax, making them more affordable for consumers.



Johnny O'Neal, one of my constituents in Flour Bluff, made the news last year when he installed a small-scale wind generator in his back yard. At the hearing, the Texas Renewable Industries Association and Public Citizen spoke out in favor of HB 1823, recognizing the need to make renewable energy devices more affordable for consumers like Johnny.  

Also moving through the state legislature is SB 545, a measure that  implements a $500 million rebate program to  encourage solar power projects. Bills like this have the potential to help make Texas, and the Coastal Bend in particular, a center for renewable energy jobs and development. The recent completion of the Peñascal wind project is further evidence that Texas and Coastal Bend can be a leader in the new green economy.

To learn about ways to save energy and find out other things you can do to help take care of Texas, visit  www.TakeCareOfTexas.org.

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