Howdy Folks!! Welcome to Texas’ good neighbor policy

July 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

 . . . raining SOx, NOx, coal soot, and mercury on its neighboring states!

Political leaders and utility insiders in Texas are pounding the EPA once again.  In the wake of an anti government biennium legislative session and in the glow of the governor’s presidential aspirations, there is not much hope for protecting the environment in Texas or even in Texas’ neighboring states.  So, eat our soot Oklahoma and Louisiana.  Are you surprised? 

Simply stated, The EPA is concerned that some of the dirtiest coal-fired plants in Texas not only are fouling the air in the Lone Star State but also are sending their toxic message to downwind neighbors: Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.  If this is the case, then the EPA has regulations that would require these plants to install equipment to reduce emissions. 

Not surprisingly, Texas politicians and businesses are not happy with the thought of spending money to employ yesterday’s scrubber technology to clean Texas’s dirty coal-fired plants.  According to news reports, lobbyists for Luminant, the wholesale power generation unit of Energy Future Holdings, are complaining that this regulation may trigger the closure of four antique coal-fired plants.

Martin Lake coal-fired plant

Martin Lake coal-fired plant

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Panic . . . business leaders apparently don’t like clean air either and are worried the price of electricity may increase.  Oh no.  Republicans and Democrats are complaining to Washington that the EPA should protect business not those of us that breathe air for living, and of course, our misnamed TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) with its three commissioners carefully selected by the governor whine that EPA decisions punish Texas.  Punish?  Really?

STOP!!  TEXAS, are you there?  Have you had enough?  It’s time to take a stand!

  • Governor, PUCT, TCEQ, Texas businesses; you are wrong.  The people of Texas are more interested in a clean air than cheap and dirty energy.  Just try asking.
  • TCEQ . . . honestly, consider resigning.
  • Texas politicians . . . who are your constituents?  Dirty air is not a political ideology.
  • Energy Future Holdings . . . is this our energy future – dirty, antiquated coal-fired plants? 
  • EPA . . . thank you . . . our children need a voice in this fight.

Citizens of Texas . . . what’s up?  

It was the 4th of July . . . now it’s time to act independently.  Install a small-scale solar electricity system on your home or business and retire those dirty coal plants with your own actions.  The governor and the state legislature do not make it easy, but they cannot stop you.  Take a stand for clean energy . . . one home, one business at a time.

A grid-tied solar electricity system is affordable, it’s economic, and it’s scalable.  A small-scale solar electricity system works just fine.  No fuel, no water, no noise, no moving parts, no emissions.  Your solar electricity system will last 30 to 40 years.

Say no to Texas insiders; say yes to a clean sustainable energy future . . . just a little at a time.  Do not wait on assistance or inspiration from your politicians.  They are busy.
Chet Boortz, CEO


[The comments, positions, and opinions stated above are my own and may or may not represent those of SES 21 USA and its affiliate companies.]


Texas electricity consumers purchasing MORE renewable energy . . .

May 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

but, the Texas House seeks MORE confrontation with the EPA 

The Governor and his lobbyists-inspired legislators keep telling us what Texans want, but they never really ask nor listen to their Texas constituents.  What’s up?  Well, we know about politics, safe districts, campaign finance, primaries, presidential aspirations, and dogma in Austin.

Here is something we also know.  In America and in Texas, a citizen’s best opportunity to be heard is to speak through his or her choices and spending.  Economic decisions are a far better indication of ‘what Texans want’ than twisted and self-serving political spin from Austin.

On May 13, 2011, ERCOT (the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas) reported that Texas electricity customers chose to buy 30% more renewable power in 2010 than in 2009.  Interesting? 2010 was not a spectacular year . . . recession, unemployment, low-income, falling home prices, cheap electricity . . . and yet, 30% more Texans chose renewable energy as their source of electricity.

Renewable Energy Increase in % - 2009 2010

Renewable Energy Increase in % - 2009 2010

Let’s dial up our legislators in Austin.  Did anyone notice?  Notice what?

On May 21, 2011, busy Texas House members amidst a host of other pressing issues: state budget, shortfalls, education, healthcare, loser pays all, and of course, concealed handguns in college classrooms, found the time (maybe 30 seconds) to pass 107-34 a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to keep the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases from oil refineries.  Oh, thank goodness!  What a worry.

The resolution also urges the EPA not to interfere with emissions from gas wells, factories and electricity generating sources (i.e., coal).  Whew, now I feel safe, and I know what I want!

So here is the score: Texas consumers choose more renewable energy, and Texas Legislators choose more status quo and vested interests, that is to say, more SOx, NOx, Mercury, and GHG’s.  What’s up in Texas?  Who is representing whom?

Your real vote in Austin is cast with the choices you make.  The legislators in Austin are not listening to you.  They are very busy with their lobbyists.

As an electricity consumer in Texas, we have alternatives.  We can choose wind power from most electric utilities or REP’s, or we can choose grid-tied solar electricity, large or small, designed to meet any portion of our household electricity load.

Renewable energy in Texas is a bottom up, ground swell movement; one consumer, one house, and one business at a time.  It’s affordable, it’s economic; it’s here all over Texas; and it’s growing each year.

Do not wait on Austin.  Just do it!

Chet Boortz, CEO


[The comments, positions, and opinions stated above are my own and may or may not represent those of SES 21 USA and its affiliate companies.]

EPA to limit toxic emissions from coal-fired plants . . . thank you EPA!

March 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

Power Industry complains new rules too expensive.  What?

In response to a federal court ruling in February, 2008, the EPA waited until the last possible day (March 15, 2011) to propose rules to limit toxic air pollutants – mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel, and acid gases from industrial emissions.  According to the EPA, power plants are responsible for half of all mercury emissions in the U.S., and within the electric utility group, coal-fired plants are responsible for 99% of all mercury emissions.

Under the proposal, the utility industry simply is required to install state of the art pollution technologies to reduce harmful emissions.  Why does this take a court order?  Why has it taken over 20 years since the Clean Air Act Amendments required control of mercury pollutants?

In its proposal, the EPA suggests that household bills may increase $4 per month and 9,000 long-term jobs will be created when the regulations are fully implemented. Meanwhile, the ERCC (Electricity Reliability Coordinating Council) complains the EPA has overstepped its bounds, and these rules may be the most expensive regulations in EPA history . . . and will have profound impacts on electricity supply, price, and job creation.

Please ERCC, get a handle on reality and your priorities!

Mercury emissions are not friendly.  Mercury causes neurological damage to children in the womb and in early childhood; it is linked to premature deaths, heart disease, and respiratory disease and it pollutes streams, lakes, oceans, and the fish we eat.

Here in Texas, we are the national leader in coal-fired power plants . . . 19 active plants and 10 or more in various stages of planning.  According to the EDC, Texas is home to seven of the nation’s top 16 mercury emitters.

Piles of coal are shown at NRG Energy’s W.A. Parish Electric Generating Station

Photo: Texarkana Gazette: Piles of coal are shown at NRG Energy’s W.A. Parish Electric Generating Station

Thompsons, Texas (SW of Houston)    AP

On the eve of his reelection, the Texas governor said Texans don’t want any more ‘feel good’ policies.  Hmm . . . sounds more like industry lobbyists talking than a head of state.  The governor and the legislators don’t ask Texans what they want . . . they tell constituents what they want based on lobbyists-prepared canned scripts.  Don’t wait on Texas to safeguard your air . . . the attorney general is suing the EPA over air quality permitting processes.  And so it goes.

We may suffer from intransigence and a status quo energy policy in the U.S. and Texas, BUT we now have an opportunity to make a difference in our very own energy production.  Simply install a grid-tied PV system on your home or business and invest in 30+ years of clean, sustainable clean electricity.  PV is scalable, so any size system makes a difference.

Electricity from light . . . no fuels and no emissions and virtually no maintenance.  AND, it’s an affordable and economic investment today!

Wide spread adoption of distributive decentralized grid-tied PV technology would mean good-bye to dirty coal plants and mercury emissions.  The utilities may not like it, but they cannot stop you from being your own independent power producer!

Don’t wait on your politicians . . . they are busy having lunch with their donor industry lobbyists.  Make a statement, make a move.  It’s past time for PV in America.

Chet Boortz, CEO


[The comments, positions, and opinions stated above are my own and may or may not represent those of SES 21 USA and its affiliate companies.]

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