On April 6th, over one hundred students from across Texas participated in a virtual lobby day of the Texas Legislature. In partnership with several organisations, including Environment Texas, Jolt Action, Move Texas, Texas Rising Action, TexPIRG Students, and Sunrise Movement, the lobby day gave young passionate Texas students an opportunity to share their concerns about the environment and the climate crisis. It was a day filled with bright young minds advocating for climate solutions and a clean energy future hoping to turn Texas green.
This lobby day included a diverse group of students ranging from middle schoolers to university and college students. Students from Texas’ population centers, like Austin, Houston, Dallas, Rio Grande Valley, and El Paso, and everywhere in between were able to talk to legislators and advocate for climate bills to further our investment in clean energy sources, safeguard our energy infrastructure, and work to create a greener future for future generations. Not only was this a great opportunity for legislators to hear testimonials on these climate bills, but it was a great opportunity for students to gain knowledge and vital communication skills that will be useful tools as they embark on creating a better and cleaner world.
TexPIRG intern, Emily Bealer, stated:
"My experience during Student Climate Action Lobby day was fantastic. I got to meet all sorts of people who were all united through their passion about the Earth. I was amazed by how young some of the students were and I feel confident about our next generation of leaders."
TexPIRG intern, Logan Ribichaud, stated:
“Student Climate Action Lobby day gave me so much hope for the future of our state. I and so many other young people showed up to voice our opinions on issues of pressing urgence, including climate change, renewable energy, and disaster relief. Alongside peers and leaders, I learned how to speak directly to legislative offices about issues that matter to me. So often, our lawmakers feel out-of-reach, but this opportunity allowed me to enact direct change with other students who care about climate”.
A handful of Texas House Representatives and their staff were able to hear other students’ and my testimonials on why they should vote and support bills like HB2206, HB1521, HB1607, HB1672, and HB1951.
As a student at St.Edward’s University and a resident of the Austin community, I recognize the urgent need for action and change to combat climate change. It’s an issue that will affect our state’s energy infrastructure, our livelihoods, and Texas’ land and wildlife. As a firm believer in creating change through people power, this Student Action Lobby day was a perfect example of how we can foster change with action together towards a common goal.
With the overall temperature rising, increasing extreme weather events, and an unprecedented demand for energy there’s not a more opportune time for change to be made. With the younger generation leading the fight against climate change, there’s a great deal of optimism in the hope for a greener Texas. #TurnTexasGreen
A post by Ethan Tobias, TexPIRG Intern