Texas may be oil country, but it also leads the nation in wind-power generation. In fact, about a fifth of the state’s electricity came from wind last year. But oil and gas proponents aren’t backing down, even as wind-power upstarts gain prominence and install more turbines.
Asher Price has been reporting on this for the Austin American-Statesman, and for his work as 2019 journalism fellow at the University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute. Price says an oil and gas company engineer invited him to a dinner in Midland last fall with other “young professionals” to discuss state subsidies for the wind-power industry. The engineer also happened to be a member of the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation think tank in Austin, and Price says the goal of the meeting was to change people’s minds about those subsidies.
“The think tank and some oil and gas interests have been especially interested in how the renewable-energy industry is taking advantage of those tax breaks,” Price says.
What you’ll hear in this segment:
– How the oil and gas industry is trying to slow the growth of the wind power in Texas
– Why federal subsidies have been essential to the growth of Texas’ wind-power industry
– How state subsidies started as a way to boost rural economies and to deter companies from establishing wind farms out of state
Written by Caroline Covington.