AUSTIN ENVIRONMENTAL DEMOCRATS – DRAFT RESOLUTION

 

WHEREAS, energy produced at the coal-fired Fayette power plant and natural gas-fired Decker power plant causes environmental degradation in the form of air and water pollution; and

 

WHEREAS, Austin Energy has proposed to build a new natural gas-fired power plant that would emit air pollutants locally, contribute to air and water pollution in other parts of Texas by using natural gas that is obtained partly through hydraulic fracturing (fracking), and contribute to climate change; and

 

WHEREAS, the Austin Generation Resource Planning Task Force recommended increasing the goal for energy efficiency and demand response[1]; and

 

WHEREAS, the Austin Generation Resource Planning Task Force recommended replacing the existing highly polluting Decker natural gas-fired power plant with west Texas solar generation[2]; and

 

WHEREAS, large quantities of precious and scarce water or wastewater would be used to cool a new natural gas-fired power plant[3]; and

 

WHEREAS, investing in clean energy produces more jobs per dollar invested compared to fossil fuels[4]; and

 

WHEREAS, the proposed natural gas-fired power plant would be built on the east side of Austin, adding emissions harmful to health and adding to the significant past and current environmental injustices;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Austin Environmental Democrats, in order to create and restore trust for public transparency, requests that the Austin City Council ensure that the consultant selected to conduct the independent Generation Gap Study for Austin Energy provide to the public all unadulterated drafts and the final version of the report, which shall be based on unbiased and accurate data and assumptions; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Austin Environmental Democrats request that the Austin City Council retire the Fayette Power Project coal-fired power plant and the existing Decker Creek gas-fired power plant as quickly as possible; and not approve construction of any new fossil fuel-burning power plants; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Austin Enviornmental Democrats request that the Austin City Council direct Austin Energy to invest in clean energy, including solar, wind, energy storage, energy efficiency, and demand response to meet Austin’s energy needs, protect public health, and keep electric rates affordable.

 

 

[1] The Report of the Austin Generation Resource Planning Task Force. July 2014. Pg 23. www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=215527

[2] The Report of the Austin Generation Resource Planning Task Force. July 2014. Pg 18. www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=215527.

[3] NREL. A Review of Operational Water Consumption and Withdrawal Factors for Electricity Generating Technologies. March 2011. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy11osti/50900.pdf.

[4] Pollin, Robert, et al. The Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy. June 2009. bit.ly/CleanEJobs