how green was your vote?

green fingers

oooh, so messy! paint your hanging chads away...

So now that the numbers are in and we’ve got a fresh crop of dandies to feed into the national rule-making machine, perhaps you’re wondering what it all means for a livable planet? Will we finally take the lead on the world stage and make climate change a priority? Invest in clean, renewable power? Foster a green-sector jobs boom and and tease forth vibrant and healthy communities (with liberty and justice for all)?

Well, give yourselves a pat on the hump, America. According to Envirovote, yesterday you amped up our eco-friendliness by 16 percent.

Now there’s lots of coding problems on some of those links, so I couldn’t break Texas out, but as I think I made pretty clear in my last energy story – and as the Statesman’s enviro-being Asher Price brings home in a couple recent posts – Rick Perry isn’t exactly positioning himself, or the state, to lead the way on coming climate change legislation.

Instead, he’s digging in his heels by bringing in the same clowns from his “competitiveness council” to recommend a way forward in the face of certain, and long overdue, federal carbon rules.

Allison Castle, a spokeswoman in the governor’s office, told me the panel had been appointed now for two reasons: First, the Environmental Protection Agency closes its comment period on greenhouse gas regulations on Nov. 28, and the governor wants the advice of the panel before filing his comment.

Secondly, she said, the newly-appointed panel is an offshoot of the Texas Competitiveness Council, which put together a July report called 2008 Texas State Energy Plan .

According to that report, based on an analysis by the consultants ICF International, federal carbon regulation “will extract an enormous amount of money from Texas business and consumers and send it to a large new bureaucracy in the federal government to dramatically expand federal spending, without accomplishing any of the stated goals of reducing CO2 emissions from power plants.”

The report continues that “State policy makers should bring a Texas perspective to federal carbon policy debates. Texas needs to participate actively in the carbon discussion and educate Washington decision makers on the economic value of Texas’ energy production to the nation.”

Finally: “The state should form a private-public partnership among industrial and large commercial energy customers, petroleum and generation companies, chambers of commerce, the PUC, the TCEQ, and the RRC to educate the public on the cost of carbon regulation to Texans. This partnership should inform its work by conducting a study highlighting the cost of carbon regulation versus environmental benefits to Texans.”

Sounds like someone wants to use your tax money to lobby in D.C. and launch reeducation campaigns here at home. Thank your lucky stars it’s just your nitwit Gub and his cronies, and not, say, the incoming White House rehab crew.

If you are wondering about Obama’s plans, don’t pass over this UK Guardian report, which includes this happy morsel:

The environment was a clear winner in Congressional races, with seven of the 12 congressmen known as the “Dirty Dozen” lawmakers – who have consistently voted against clean energy and conservation – failing to keep their seats, “.

“The Dirty Dozen represent the biggest roadblocks in Congress on the road to America’s clean energy future,” said League of Conservation Voters’ president, Gene Karpinski. “Siding with the oil industry at every turn, they have consistently voted against policies that would create jobs, ensure our national security, and guarantee a sustainable future for our country.”

me in cps gear

I Am So Busted... A local radical caught me sporting the CPS logo at a recent environmental fair the utility was sponsoring. I was there humbly promoting the Texas Master Naturalist program that I publicly pledge to complete in this lifetime.

Back on the Alamo homefront: I’m hearing talk our dear friend Milton Lee, chief CPS Energy manipulator, is delivering a message against eco-folk of a certain Austin persuasion bringing their anti-nuclear message to San Antonio.

He reportedly told monied denizens of Chamber North that “there will be people coming from Austin trying to tell us how they think we should do things, we need to send them home packing.”

Cheers burst forth.

Chamber North folk should note, however, there will (and have been) many also coming up from the front lines of the uranium mining debate around Kingsville and Goliad to fight Milton’s plans. And there have been busloads from all corners of Bexar County, as Milty well knows, packing meetings over the past year fighting CPS’s nuclear option. I’m wondering if he or his chamber buds have some chartered buses lined up to ship us out, as well.

Thankfully, an Obama Administration is far less likely to push for the level of subsidies that McCain was prepared to offer the nuke industry. We’ll likely see many of this past year’s reactor applications whither away. However, with Excelon poised to buy out NRG (both with pockets lined with Lone Star nuke plans), Texas may have the distinct honor of hosting one of those rare rumbles.

picture-1In the past, I’ve suggested that it must be lonely being Lee. Now I’m seeing that he truly is a part of one, at least social network-wise. So I went ahead and shot him a friend request.

Maybe we can bridge this thing without bullhorns and banners. Maybe he just needs some online love.

[If you’re still on the fence on nuclear, the Natural Resources Defense Council has some reading material for you.]

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