Introducing the Climate Change View from Texas
Let me start 2020 with a confession: I’m not a Texan, but I got here as fast as I could. Why, though? What’s so special about this state? Historically, people flocked to Texas to take advantage of its resources, which spurred three big Texas industries: ranching, oil, and real estate. More recently, it has become known for its affordable cost-of-living, business-friendly policies, and of course, as the epicenter of the shale oil & gas revolution.
Texas is the self-proclaimed oil & gas capital of the United States, producing more than a third of the nation’s crude oil, a quarter of its natural gas, and a significant fraction of its liquified natural gas (LNG) export capacity.
However, with the energy transition underway, we now also believe we can become the low-carbon energy capital, with an emerging landscape that both decarbonizes and goes beyond fossil fuels. Given Texas’s 25,000 megawatts (MW) installed wind capacity (nearly 5x that of California), and its 3,400 MW installed solar capacity (still behind California’s 26,000 MW, but getting closer each year), Texas is well-poised to be the frontline of all things energy for the foreseeable future.
And in case you forgot, Texas is a historically red (purple, at best) political state. Combining the very conservative rural areas, which embrace both wind farms and fracking, and liberal urban cities with ambitious climate action and renewable energy targets, we have very diverse viewpoints.
To me, that means this state has the potential to make the largest impact on the future of energy and climate change in the USA, and the world. Whether through reducing emissions from big oil, developing clean energy projects, or growing an energy startup, Texas is THE place to be.
Each month, we will explore a business climate change topic in Texas, looking at views from all perspectives. We’ll let you know how what’s going on in the Lone Star State is relevant to you and to the global energy community.