Sunday :: Jan 7, 2007

Open Thread - Texas Stupidity Edition

by Mary

Living on Earth had a piece this week about Texas' fast tracking 17 coal burning power plants because of their coming energy crunch. Evidently, Texans don't believe that global warming is happening or that being more efficient is worthwhile. Because the Texas government is trying to make sure Texans continue to pay more for energy than other, smarter states. Texas is forcing its citizens to pay a *lot* more than other states that have adopted energy conservation as their top priority. Indeed, state officials seemed to be proud of being one of the biggest users of energy in the world.

MORGAN: We have to keep in mind that Texas is actually the 11th largest electricity market in the world.

But as I learned from RMI this is a false fallacy because people aren't consuming energy just for the sake of using energy.

One thing about energy is that we aren’t buying energy for itself, but rather for the services that it provides. It is simply a means to an end. What people want are warm showers, lights and electricity, cooling in the summer, heat for the winter, a way to get from home to work, and so on. And they want reliable energy. If we could have all the services we need with less energy, we would be doing well. Thus, using energy more efficiently is surprisingly effective in providing more for significantly less expense. And we reduce our greenhouse gases as well.

What Texas is doing is forcing Texans to pay more to get the same services Californians get for less than half the price. Because it turns out that the per capita energy usage for Texans is 564 million BTU per year while the per capita energy usage for Californians is 227 million BTU per year. Evidently, if you are a Texan, your government believes it is better to provide massive subsidies for energy companies than it is to figure out how to do more with less. Well, it won't take too long to see which option works better in the long run because California energy efficiency will pay for itself year after year after year while Texans will pay in pollution and price for a long, long time.

Okay, it's your turn to rant.

Mary :: 1:42 AM :: Comments (47) :: Digg It!