Would Texas Benefit From A 'Green New Deal'?

Jan 17, 2019

From Texas Standard:

A somewhat old idea to address climate change is getting new life, now that it appears to have the backing of New York freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She and other progressives are pushing an idea called a "green new deal" – riffing on the title of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's plan to rescue the U.S. from the Great Depression.

Writing for The New York Times, Thomas Friedman used the phrase "green new deal" as early as 2007, to advocate transitioning to an economy based on renewable energy instead of fossil fuels. Among the proposals from today's green new dealers is legislation calling for the country to transition to using 100 percent renewable sources of energy over the next 10 years.

The editorial board of the Houston Chronicle argues this isn't a radical plan, and would be a natural one for Texas. Harold Jackson is a member of the board. He says that in addition to abundant oil and gas, Texas also has a lot of capacity to produce solar and wind energy.

"If there's going to be a conversation about moving more toward alternative fuels, then Texas Congress members should be a part of that conversation," Jackson says.

Jackson says that a green new deal's best chance of success would come if adoption of new technologies, and the regulations or incentives needed to make them possible, were adopted over a period of time, not all at once. He says older industries have always declined as new ones emerge to replace them.

"It's called a 'new deal' because it's meant to create jobs, not just to deal with climate change," Jackson says.

When it comes to implementing a green new deal, Texas needs to be part of the conversation, Jackson says. Right now, leadership on the idea is coming from the U.S. House.

Written by Shelly Brisbin.