AUSTIN - Today the Texas House gave initial approval to SB 3, the Legislature's most consequential bill to respond to the deadly February blackouts. Environment Texas Executive Director Luke Metzger, who has worked on energy issues in Texas for more than two decades and whose family went without power for more than three days during the blackout, released the following statement:
"Is this an improvement? Yes. Is it enough to prevent more blackouts? I worry it's not. As global warming makes extreme weather more frequent and more severe, we need to batten down the hatches to protect Texas families from blackouts and worse. Unfortunately, big energy companies have resisted efforts to build a cleaner, more resilient grid. This bill will lead some to invest in measures to protect against extreme temperatures, but loopholes and weak fines will likely lead many gas wells and power plants to do nothing. However, I’m pleased the House stood off attacks on solar and wind power, which the state desperately needs to help cut pollution and which polls after the blackouts show Texans want more of, not less. On balance, the bill is progress and we hope the Senate follows the House's approach to focus on our core vulnerabilities and not take potshots at renewable energy."