From Houston to El Paso, every Texan should be able to live and work where the air is clean. But whenever we turn on a light switch, our power is coming from a grid with outdated and unclean sources of energy like coal power. Sabias que, there are 19 coal-fired power plants in Texas? Es el verdad. We need modern clean energy to power our homes and our jobs. We need to #FixTheGrid so we never see a repeat of Winter Storm Uri again. Here are 7 things you may not know about clean energy!
1) Latinos want to reduce smog and air pollution
We know pollution from coal power and natural gas flaring can make us sick. A 2020 poll from the Environmental Defense Fund and GreenLatinos March found 85% of Latinos want to reduce smog and air pollution. Clean energy has an important role to play in doing just that!
2) Clean Energy helps prevent pollution
One important type of pollution is carbon dioxide because it destabilizes the earth’s climate and makes extreme weather events like Winter Storm Uri more likely. Luckily, when clean energy replaces sources like coal power, it prevents more carbon dioxide from getting into the air. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimated putting more clean energy in Texas could prevent about 60 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released and making our air dirty.
3) Clean Energy is popular! Especially with Latinos
A 2020 poll found 84% of Latinos favor government funding for clean energy. This would mean more money for a job-creating power source that does not pollute our neighborhoods.
4) It could create about half a million jobs in Texas
According to a report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Texas has potential for more than 500,000 stable new jobs in solar, wind and geothermal energy. Clean energy jobs usually pay well and many do not require a four-year degree.
5) Texas voters support financial incentives for clean energy jobs
As we transition to clean energy and away from heavy-polluting sources like coal power plants, the people who worked in coal plants should have the opportunity to get clean and stable jobs. According to a 2021 Texas Voters Attitude poll, 83% of Texas voters support financial assistance for trade degree and certificate programs in clean energy.
6) Texas is the fastest-growing clean energy state
Texas led the way in 2021 when it came to how much new clean energy we added to the grid. According to Inside Climate News, Texas had the most out of all 50 states with 7,352 megawatts of new clean energy. Second place? California with 2,697 megawatts.
7) Clean Energy is not to blame for the 2021 power outages
In the aftermath of Winter Storm Uri, Governor Abbott falsely blamed the power outages on clean energy. NBC News reported that the grid failure was caused by lack of cold weather preparation across the board, with coal and natural gas being most responsible for the state losing power.
Ready to Learn More?
If you want to learn more about clean energy, you should apply for Jolt’s Levantate y Lucha Institute. One of Jolt’s Climate Fellows will be giving an informative presentation on clean energy and what climate change means for Latinos. Levantate y Lucha’s two-day program will give you all the connections and skills you need to start organizing your own community for change.