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RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

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  • Tyra Rankin
    Andrew: I take your comment to heart - I do know that TREIA has done a lot of work on renewables. My experience, however at trying to get involved with TREIA
    Message 1 of 24 , Jun 3, 2009
    • 0 Attachment

      Andrew:

       

      I take your comment to heart – I do know that TREIA has done a lot of work on renewables.  My experience, however at trying to get involved with TREIA around solar is that they are horribly resistant to change, do not study other solutions and for the last 10 years, have proposed the same solar solution, session after session to the Texas legislature, namely “non-wind.”  When I tried to dialogue with them on the in-efficacy of this policy for solar, I was basically silenced.  They are not inclusive of new people, new ideas and new studies. 

       

      I do not propose to have the solutions, but I did an enormous amount of research on solar policy for my master’s thesis on solar policy at UH law.  I discovered that in Europe and elsewhere there are 20 year studies analyzing and comparing which policies work for solar, which do not and why.  The results of those studies are extremely conclusive.  Texas is a perfect example of the failure of a Renewable Portfolio Standard to deploy solar.  TREIA refuses to consider such studies.

       

      I am critical of how we in Texas generally approach solar, especially our legislature and current governor.  Governor Perry frequently addresses groups claiming that “ Texas is number one in the country in wind and number two in solar.”  (TREIA has published his comment as well.)  While the first part of his statement is true, the second, in the context of generation from renewables is dead wrong.  Texas generates 99.9% of renewable energy from wind alone.  The Texas resource for solar may be second in the country, but its generation with that resource is just about last.  The Texas legislature takes an ineffective shot-gun approach to addressing solar.

       

      Texas as a state needs to study the experience of other states and other countries in implementing solar.   Texas needs to formulate a cohesive, long term policy for solar if it wants to truly bring solar industry and generation to Texas .  For the next legislative session, Texas should not rely on the Federal Government to present the solar solutions; Texas must have the guts, vision and leadership to explore something new and implement a long term policy strategy.  To do so will take a collaborative approach across industries, educational institutions, government, non-profits and citizens.   

       

      Tyra

       

       


      From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Andrew McCalla
      Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 6:57 AM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

       




      Tyra and Stephen,

       

      On this point you are both way off the mark. 

       

      I can personally vouch and account for TREIA’s efforts at this most recent legislative session, if not over the period of its existence.  While not focused exclusively on solar legislation (it is a Renewable Energy trade association, and despite my solar bias, there are others), TREIA spent more time than you can possibly imagine (clearly) on educating, strategizing, organizing, and supporting decision makers and action takers who were involved with these now ill-fated bills.

      Andrew H. McCalla
      CEO


      Meridian Solar, Inc. (TECL:24461)
      4109 Todd Lane, Suite 900

      Austin , TX 78744

      P: 512.448.0055 ext. 103
      D: 512.410.3872
      F: 512.448.0045
      andrew@meridiansola r.com
      www.meridiansolar. com




       

      DISCLAIMER:
      This communication, along with any documents, files or attachments, is intended for the use of only the addressee and contains privileged and confidential info rmation. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of any info rmation contained in or attached to this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail reply and destroy the original communication and its attachments without reading, printing or saving in any manner.

       


      From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Tyra Rankin
      Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 12:56 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
      Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

       





      Thank you Steven, for having the courage to speak the truth.  I thought I was alone in recognizing that TREIA was not interested in supporting solar for Texas . 

       

      Que Lastima, indeed… everyone looses.

       

      Tyra

       


      From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Steven Shepard
      Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 11:02 AM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
      Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

       






      Thanks for the update.
      Another shot in the teeth for renewable energy here in Texas . 
      Que lastima.

      Thanks ASES and TREIA for throwing your entire support behind Texas big wind projects, large energy corporations, utility interests and generally neglecting solar and small wind.    We can see the fruits of your labor and the lack of support for renewable energy dealers across the state.  Lets see if the utilities will continue their donations to you so they can use your non-profit status as a front for their bogus green interests.  I guess grass roots support for renewable energy may be necessary after all.

      And the game goes on and on.  The band is playing while the ship sinks.
      Hey, but I'm not bitter.

       

       

       


      From: Jim & Janet <jhd1@earthlink. net>
      To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
      Sent: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 9:35:02 AM
      Subject: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

       

      ----- Original Message -----

      Sent: Monday, June 01, 2009 11:52 PM

      Subject: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

       

      I assume that useful solar energy legislation died in the last session. Am I correct?

       

      Thanks, Bill S

      .

       

      Here's the reply via NTREG

      ************ ********* ********* *******

       

      > --- On Tue, 6/2/09, Jason Coffman wrote:
      > So what ever happened here? From what I can see,
      > this was never voted on. Was it killed in committee?
      > I see it went to committee on 5/30, but I don't see a
      > vote or anything that was supposed to happen on 5/31.

       

      Jason and everyone,

      This is a long reply, but well worth reading....
      At the moment, it's bad news, but may not be permanently so.
      This is a complicated situation. I was hoping to wait a few more days before reporting on the outcome, because there's a microscopic glimmer of hope it could yet change.
      However .. since you've asked .. here's where we stand:
      You're correct. The key solar bills we were watching never came up for a final vote, killing them (for now).
      Of 208 pieces of legislation introduced in the 2009 session dealing with solar and/or renewables in some form, only one made it to Governor Perry's desk -- a bill allowing homeowners to finance the purchase of solar energy equipment through the state, then pay for their purchase over the next 20 years by an increase in their property tax. With no other incentives, it may be difficult to motivate people to use this program when the up-front cost is so high.
      Now for the [possibly] good news.
      Many vital legislative actions also failed. Case in point: the vote to continue the Department of Transportation didn't happen.
      Legislation failed that would keep the Texas Dept of Transportation funded. The DOT will essentially be shut down if lawmakers don’t vote to keep it funded. That alone virtually guarantees a special session.
      Now then, Governor Perry is the only person with the authority to call a special session.
      He is also the only one who can set the agenda for the special session.
      *IF* he does call a special session, and it's a virtual certainty he will (if only to address the DOT situation at the moment), it opens the door for an opportunity to influence him to include other bills, such as solar. It also opens the door for him to include the voter ID bill, which is at the very heart of all the dissention in the first place.

      Many "IFs" here.

      *IF* Governor Perry calls a special session...

      *IF* he can be persuaded to include the solar bills in that session...

      *IF* the bills get consideration in that special session...

      *IF* the outcome is positive ...

      Only then will we stand a chance to see the solar bills become law.
      There are *many* people and organizations who will be working on behalf of solar energy to get the key "solar" bills included in if/when Governor Perry calls a special legislative session. These are folks you may have heard mentioned ... such as the Texas Solar Energy Industries Association, the Texas Solar Energy Society .. Environment Texas .. and many others.
      Realize too solar is one of possibly dozens of issues, all of which will have advocates and detractors pushing for, or against inclusion in a special session .. *IF* one is called.
      Will it happen? I don't know. All we can do is wait. If Gov Perry *does* call a special session, we can try again this summer to influence our legislators. If not, it'll be two more years.
      In closing, I'd like to add a comment I feel is indicative of what may be the mindset of at least SOME of our legislators:
      I spoke with an aide in Representative Terri Hodge's office a few days ago, during the waning days of this session. She (the aide) told me Rep Hodges was not in favor of the solar bills.
      I asked "Why?".
      Her aid told me she opposed the solar bills "because it would raise the cost of electricity to residential customers to finance the equipment".
      When I asked the aide if she knew how much it would raise a monthly residential bill, she admitted she didn't know. So I told her - only 20 cents a month. The aide's reaction? "Is that all?". Apparently Rep Hodge was also under the impression the increase would be large, but by then it was too late.
      Representative Hodge had been told it would raise electric bills. Apparently she hadn't been told how little the increase would be. Less than a penny a day.
      I have to believe this is indicative how other legislators' understanding of the situation must be.
      Energy is a complicated issue. One of the staunchest opponents to the solar bills is Representative Sylvester Turner of Houston .
      Why? I don't know.
      In closing .. the solar bills didn't die because they were bad bills. In fact, they passed the Senate on overwhelmingly supportive vote counts. 26 to 4 in one case. 27 to 3 in the other (if memory serves correctly.) They came out of committee with a unanimous vote in one case .. and only one member voting in opposition in the other. The support was there.
      So why did the solar bills (like so MANY other bills) .. fail?
      The solar bills failed to become law because our elected officials reverted to partisan bickering over one bill. "Voter ID." Rather than set the ID issue aside and deal with other legislation .. such as solar .. it became a "prevail at all cost with my point of view" no matter what the cost. Good legislation became the victim in the process.
      I've included three links below to news articles with additional detail on the overall outcome.
      My suggestion: Print them all. Use them for "bathroom" reading material. It's enough to make you sick.

      http://greeninc. blogs.nytimes. com/2009/ 06/01/solar- push-in-texas- fails/
      Same link: http://tinyurl. com/lhdusv

      http://blogs. wsj.com/environm entalcapital/ 2009/06/01/ texas-kills- solar-bill- on-last-minute- motion/
      Same link: http://tinyurl. com/kl8hfr

      http://www.chron. com/disp/ story.mpl/ hotstories/ 6453502.html
      Same link: http://tinyurl. com/maxfk9

      Will keep you posted.

      Dan

      P.S. If Yahoo messes up any of the long links above, use the "Tiny URL" link I've provided. It's the same link as each of the originals, just shorter.



       

    • Anne Kelly
      Great letter, Tyra.  Please forward it to our governer and the legislators! ... From: Tyra Rankin Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation
      Message 2 of 24 , Jun 3, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        Great letter, Tyra.  Please forward it to our governer and the legislators!

        --- On Wed, 6/3/09, Tyra Rankin <tyra@...> wrote:

        From: Tyra Rankin <tyra@...>
        Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature
        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 9:21 AM

        Andrew:

         

        I take your comment to heart – I do know that TREIA has done a lot of work on renewables.  My experience, however at trying to get involved with TREIA around solar is that they are horribly resistant to change, do not study other solutions and for the last 10 years, have proposed the same solar solution, session after session to the Texas legislature, namely “non-wind.”  When I tried to dialogue with them on the in-efficacy of this policy for solar, I was basically silenced.  They are not inclusive of new people, new ideas and new studies. 

         

        I do not propose to have the solutions, but I did an enormous amount of research on solar policy for my master’s thesis on solar policy at UH law.  I discovered that in Europe and elsewhere there are 20 year studies analyzing and comparing which policies work for solar, which do not and why.  The results of those studies are extremely conclusive.  Texas is a perfect example of the failure of a Renewable Portfolio Standard to deploy solar.  TREIA refuses to consider such studies.

         

        I am critical of how we in Texas generally approach solar, especially our legislature and current governor.  Governor Perry frequently addresses groups claiming that “ Texas is number one in the country in wind and number two in solar.”  (TREIA has published his comment as well.)  While the first part of his statement is true, the second, in the context of generation from renewables is dead wrong.  Texas generates 99.9% of renewable energy from wind alone.  The Texas resource for solar may be second in the country, but its generation with that resource is just about last.  The Texas legislature takes an ineffective shot-gun approach to addressing solar.

         

        Texas as a state needs to study the experience of other states and other countries in implementing solar.   Texas needs to formulate a cohesive, long term policy for solar if it wants to truly bring solar industry and generation to Texas .  For the next legislative session, Texas should not rely on the Federal Government to present the solar solutions; Texas must have the guts, vision and leadership to explore something new and implement a long term policy strategy.  To do so will take a collaborative approach across industries, educational institutions, government, non-profits and citizens.   

         

        Tyra

         

         


        From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Andrew McCalla
        Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 6:57 AM
        To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
        Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

         




        Tyra and Stephen,

         

        On this point you are both way off the mark. 

         

        I can personally vouch and account for TREIA’s efforts at this most recent legislative session, if not over the period of its existence.  While not focused exclusively on solar legislation (it is a Renewable Energy trade association, and despite my solar bias, there are others), TREIA spent more time than you can possibly imagine (clearly) on educating, strategizing, organizing, and supporting decision makers and action takers who were involved with these now ill-fated bills.

        Andrew H. McCalla
        CEO


        Meridian Solar, Inc. (TECL:24461)
        4109 Todd Lane, Suite 900

        Austin , TX 78744

        P: 512.448.0055 ext. 103
        D: 512.410.3872
        F: 512.448.0045
        andrew@meridiansola r.com
        www.meridiansolar. com




         

        DISCLAIMER:
        This communication, along with any documents, files or attachments, is intended for the use of only the addressee and contains privileged and confidential info rmation. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of any info rmation contained in or attached to this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail reply and destroy the original communication and its attachments without reading, printing or saving in any manner.

         


        From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Tyra Rankin
        Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 12:56 PM
        To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
        Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

         





        Thank you Steven, for having the courage to speak the truth.  I thought I was alone in recognizing that TREIA was not interested in supporting solar for Texas . 

         

        Que Lastima, indeed… everyone looses.

         

        Tyra

         


        From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Steven Shepard
        Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 11:02 AM
        To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
        Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

         






        Thanks for the update.
        Another shot in the teeth for renewable energy here in Texas . 
        Que lastima.

        Thanks ASES and TREIA for throwing your entire support behind Texas big wind projects, large energy corporations, utility interests and generally neglecting solar and small wind.    We can see the fruits of your labor and the lack of support for renewable energy dealers across the state.  Lets see if the utilities will continue their donations to you so they can use your non-profit status as a front for their bogus green interests.  I guess grass roots support for renewable energy may be necessary after all.

        And the game goes on and on.  The band is playing while the ship sinks.
        Hey, but I'm not bitter.

         

         

         


        From: Jim & Janet <jhd1@earthlink. net>
        To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
        Sent: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 9:35:02 AM
        Subject: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

         

        ----- Original Message -----

        Sent: Monday, June 01, 2009 11:52 PM

        Subject: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

         

        I assume that useful solar energy legislation died in the last session. Am I correct?

         

        Thanks, Bill S

        .

         

        Here's the reply via NTREG

        ************ ********* ********* *******

         

        > --- On Tue, 6/2/09, Jason Coffman wrote:
        > So what ever happened here? From what I can see,
        > this was never voted on. Was it killed in committee?
        > I see it went to committee on 5/30, but I don't see a
        > vote or anything that was supposed to happen on 5/31.

         

        Jason and everyone,

        This is a long reply, but well worth reading....
        At the moment, it's bad news, but may not be permanently so.
        This is a complicated situation. I was hoping to wait a few more days before reporting on the outcome, because there's a microscopic glimmer of hope it could yet change.
        However .. since you've asked .. here's where we stand:
        You're correct. The key solar bills we were watching never came up for a final vote, killing them (for now).
        Of 208 pieces of legislation introduced in the 2009 session dealing with solar and/or renewables in some form, only one made it to Governor Perry's desk -- a bill allowing homeowners to finance the purchase of solar energy equipment through the state, then pay for their purchase over the next 20 years by an increase in their property tax. With no other incentives, it may be difficult to motivate people to use this program when the up-front cost is so high.
        Now for the [possibly] good news.
        Many vital legislative actions also failed. Case in point: the vote to continue the Department of Transportation didn't happen.
        Legislation failed that would keep the Texas Dept of Transportation funded. The DOT will essentially be shut down if lawmakers don’t vote to keep it funded. That alone virtually guarantees a special session.
        Now then, Governor Perry is the only person with the authority to call a special session.
        He is also the only one who can set the agenda for the special session.
        *IF* he does call a special session, and it's a virtual certainty he will (if only to address the DOT situation at the moment), it opens the door for an opportunity to influence him to include other bills, such as solar. It also opens the door for him to include the voter ID bill, which is at the very heart of all the dissention in the first place.

        Many "IFs" here.

        *IF* Governor Perry calls a special session...

        *IF* he can be persuaded to include the solar bills in that session...

        *IF* the bills get consideration in that special session...

        *IF* the outcome is positive ...

        Only then will we stand a chance to see the solar bills become law.
        There are *many* people and organizations who will be working on behalf of solar energy to get the key "solar" bills included in if/when Governor Perry calls a special legislative session. These are folks you may have heard mentioned ... such as the Texas Solar Energy Industries Association, the Texas Solar Energy Society .. Environment Texas .. and many others.
        Realize too solar is one of possibly dozens of issues, all of which will have advocates and detractors pushing for, or against inclusion in a special session .. *IF* one is called.
        Will it happen? I don't know. All we can do is wait. If Gov Perry *does* call a special session, we can try again this summer to influence our legislators. If not, it'll be two more years.
        In closing, I'd like to add a comment I feel is indicative of what may be the mindset of at least SOME of our legislators:
        I spoke with an aide in Representative Terri Hodge's office a few days ago, during the waning days of this session. She (the aide) told me Rep Hodges was not in favor of the solar bills.
        I asked "Why?".
        Her aid told me she opposed the solar bills "because it would raise the cost of electricity to residential customers to finance the equipment".
        When I asked the aide if she knew how much it would raise a monthly residential bill, she admitted she didn't know. So I told her - only 20 cents a month. The aide's reaction? "Is that all?". Apparently Rep Hodge was also under the impression the increase would be large, but by then it was too late.
        Representative Hodge had been told it would raise electric bills. Apparently she hadn't been told how little the increase would be. Less than a penny a day.
        I have to believe this is indicative how other legislators' understanding of the situation must be.
        Energy is a complicated issue. One of the staunchest opponents to the solar bills is Representative Sylvester Turner of Houston .
        Why? I don't know.
        In closing .. the solar bills didn't die because they were bad bills. In fact, they passed the Senate on overwhelmingly supportive vote counts. 26 to 4 in one case. 27 to 3 in the other (if memory serves correctly.) They came out of committee with a unanimous vote in one case .. and only one member voting in opposition in the other. The support was there.
        So why did the solar bills (like so MANY other bills) .. fail?
        The solar bills failed to become law because our elected officials reverted to partisan bickering over one bill. "Voter ID." Rather than set the ID issue aside and deal with other legislation .. such as solar .. it became a "prevail at all cost with my point of view" no matter what the cost. Good legislation became the victim in the process.
        I've included three links below to news articles with additional detail on the overall outcome.
        My suggestion: Print them all. Use them for "bathroom" reading material. It's enough to make you sick.

        http://greeninc. blogs.nytimes. com/2009/ 06/01/solar- push-in-texas- fails/
        Same link: http://tinyurl. com/lhdusv

        http://blogs. wsj.com/environm entalcapital/ 2009/06/01/ texas-kills- solar-bill- on-last-minute- motion/
        Same link: http://tinyurl. com/kl8hfr

        http://www.chron. com/disp/ story.mpl/ hotstories/ 6453502.html
        Same link: http://tinyurl. com/maxfk9

        Will keep you posted.

        Dan

        P.S. If Yahoo messes up any of the long links above, use the "Tiny URL" link I've provided. It's the same link as each of the originals, just shorter.



         


      • Philip Timmons
        Hey Tyra, Ok, I count that as some pretty legit backgrounding. Technical / Policy Question? What did you find regarding Solar Thermal (Electric Generation --
        Message 3 of 24 , Jun 3, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          Hey Tyra,

          Ok, I count that as some pretty legit backgrounding.

          Technical / Policy Question?

          What did you find regarding Solar Thermal (Electric Generation -- like this >>> www.ausra.com and others) and its use in Spain, and other sites, including the US, but relative absence in Texas?

          Is that mostly considered a Policy issue?  Corporate Politics?  Less Than Optimal Geography/Insolation?  Something else?

          Thanks.




          --- On Wed, 6/3/09, Anne Kelly <anniemktx@...> wrote:

          From: Anne Kelly <anniemktx@...>
          Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature
          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 9:43 AM

          Great letter, Tyra.  Please forward it to our governer and the legislators!

          --- On Wed, 6/3/09, Tyra Rankin <tyra@...> wrote:

          From: Tyra Rankin <tyra@...>
          Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature
          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 9:21 AM

          Andrew:

           

          I take your comment to heart – I do know that TREIA has done a lot of work on renewables.  My experience, however at trying to get involved with TREIA around solar is that they are horribly resistant to change, do not study other solutions and for the last 10 years, have proposed the same solar solution, session after session to the Texas legislature, namely “non-wind.”  When I tried to dialogue with them on the in-efficacy of this policy for solar, I was basically silenced.  They are not inclusive of new people, new ideas and new studies. 

           

          I do not propose to have the solutions, but I did an enormous amount of research on solar policy for my master’s thesis on solar policy at UH law.  I discovered that in Europe and elsewhere there are 20 year studies analyzing and comparing which policies work for solar, which do not and why.  The results of those studies are extremely conclusive.  Texas is a perfect example of the failure of a Renewable Portfolio Standard to deploy solar.  TREIA refuses to consider such studies.

           

          I am critical of how we in Texas generally approach solar, especially our legislature and current governor.  Governor Perry frequently addresses groups claiming that “ Texas is number one in the country in wind and number two in solar.”  (TREIA has published his comment as well.)  While the first part of his statement is true, the second, in the context of generation from renewables is dead wrong.  Texas generates 99.9% of renewable energy from wind alone.  The Texas resource for solar may be second in the country, but its generation with that resource is just about last.  The Texas legislature takes an ineffective shot-gun approach to addressing solar.

           

          Texas as a state needs to study the experience of other states and other countries in implementing solar.   Texas needs to formulate a cohesive, long term policy for solar if it wants to truly bring solar industry and generation to Texas .  For the next legislative session, Texas should not rely on the Federal Government to present the solar solutions; Texas must have the guts, vision and leadership to explore something new and implement a long term policy strategy.  To do so will take a collaborative approach across industries, educational institutions, government, non-profits and citizens.   

           

          Tyra

           

           



        • Jim & Janet
          Texas must have the guts, vision and leadership to explore something new and implement a long term policy strategy. To do so will take a collaborative
          Message 4 of 24 , Jun 3, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            Texas must have the guts, vision and leadership to explore something new and implement a long term policy strategy.  To do so will take a collaborative approach across industries, educational institutions, government, non-profits and citizens. 
             
             
            While a lot of belated insight has been presented on this site since the end of the regular session, it fails to address the true underlying reason that the renewable legislative package that was so carefully crafted, and compromised on, failed. It could be blamed on the voter ID skirmish or any number of other distractions that occurred during the 2009 session, as well as the 2007 and the 2005 sessions.
            During the 2007 session, one where I and dozens of other TREIA members and renewable energy advocates and supporters, had converged on the State Capitol, spent days visiting legislators and their staff, at the Capitol and in less formal settings, began optimistically promoting the final version of what seemed like a well balanced and compromised package of pro-renewable energy legislation.
            After I returned to Fort Worth and my usual routine, I was contacted by a senior reporter from the Fort Worth Star Telegram and asked my professional perspective on some issue or another involving renewable energy. After answering the reporters question to his satisfaction, I mentioned the just completed "blitz" by TREIA and its legions of RE supporters at the Capitol. [I can use spin as well as the next guy.]
            I mentioned that I was frustrated and alarmed by the news article I had seen in the ST weeks before stating that TXU had in the neighborhood of 60 paid lobbyists at the Capitol that session. [Recall that this was the same timeframe during which TXU was pushing for the approval of the licensing of 11 new coal-burning power plants in Texas. Recall too that the Governor fully supported fast-tracking the bill to approve them before new EPA restrictions kicked in.]
            The reporter said, and I paraphrase; Jim TXU has currently got over 120 registered lobbyists at the Capitol.
            It suddenly became clear why, during that same TREIA blitz when someone asked if RPS legislation was included in the package of bills we were supporting and promoting, we were told that, again paraphrasing, the issue of the RPS should not even be mentioned during the legislative session because it would never see the light of day.
            The lobbying industry clearly understands the philosophy behind the bumper sticker that says "America doesn't need a third party-America needs a second party".
            There is a "3rd branch" of the legislature, the special interest lobby, which is so powerful, so well organized and well funded that their demands on legislators are almost without fail, supported over the wishes of their constituents. These well paid representatives of special interests will attempt to obstruct a bill from receiving support to carry it and discourage co-signers. Should that fail and a bill come about as proposed, a contingency plan would be in place. Committees would be influenced in advance to keep certain legislative subsets out of bills that otherwise would be approved.
            If that failed to stop a measure from moving ahead, severe steps may have to be implemented. And you can bet those Plan Bs and Plan Cs are in place long before the opening gavel drops.
            Voter ID was a perfect example of this strategy. Opponents used chubbing to delay passage of the bill while supporters blocked the option to reschedule votes on other bills that would otherwise die in the standoff. While this game of chicken was purely along political party lines, Legislators had no qualms about refusing to compromise and committing devastating acts of near treason to gain their political ends.
            Now\, think back several weeks to the scandal in the British Parliament where it was discovered that members were abusing their financial privileges. That nation was outraged. Thousands protested in front of their local Parliament buildings and confronted members at their homes and offices demanding their resignation. It worked.
            Years ago, French farmers drove their tractors and blocked major roads in downtown Paris to protest government actions against farmers. Loads of manure were dumped on the capitol steps to show their disgust. The farmers got what they wanted.
            What happens in the US when citizens are outraged at politicians? We read all the blogs and emails we agree with then go back to stare at the television to be informed what the official facts are. And by the 2011 legislative session, all but a handful of activists will have forgotten about their disdain generated during this session and the cycle will be repeated.
            Your Legislator lives, and maintains an office, in your local district. Is it too much trouble to walk into that office and tell the Legislator or their staff lackeys exactly how disgusted you are with their behavior? Can you announce angrily that you regret voting for them (even if you didn't) because of their support of corrupted legislative policies? Can you demand that they push for a special session to address the important bills of which they deliberately blocked passage?
            You could but why bother. TREIA, Union of Concerned Scientists, SEED Coalition, Public Citizen, ACEEE and all those other big non-profit groups will take care of it. After all you sent them a contribution last year, what else do they expect you to do. Or, I wrote a letter to my legislator or I signed an online petition in support of something once. If you think that simply voting will change things, go back and read the bumper sticker.
            Get mad, stay mad, organize, protest, confront the businesses that hire the lobbyists and publically expose and boycott them. Publically oppose politicians who worked against the best interest of the public good which is most all of them. Demand that local politicians support renewable energy (are you listening Southlake?) Get "important" people angry with you, that's the only way to make them remember and respect you. Smitty excels at this tactic.
            Join two or three of the above named organizations and go to their meetings and events. When you look at how long and hard they work promoting the public good, you will be amazed and hopefully motivated to join in their largely unrecognized effort.
            Change won't happen until tens of thousands of Americans get mad enough to make it happen. Our elected public servants won't do it for us unless they are pressured to do it.
            Jim Duncan
             
            Texas must have the guts, vision and leadership to explore something new and implement a long term policy strategy.  To do so will take a collaborative approach across industries, educational institutions, government, non-profits and citizens. 
             
             
             
             


            Andrew:

            I take your comment to heart – I do know that TREIA has done a lot of work on renewables.  My experience, however at trying to get involved with TREIA around solar is that they are horribly resistant to change, do not study other solutions and for the last 10 years, have proposed the same solar solution, session after session to the Texas legislature, namely “non-wind.”  When I tried to dialogue with them on the in-efficacy of this policy for solar, I was basically silenced.  They are not inclusive of new people, new ideas and new studies. 

            I do not propose to have the solutions, but I did an enormous amount of research on solar policy for my master’s thesis on solar policy at UH law.  I discovered that in Europe and elsewhere there are 20 year studies analyzing and comparing which policies work for solar, which do not and why.  The results of those studies are extremely conclusive.  Texas is a perfect example of the failure of a Renewable Portfolio Standard to deploy solar.  TREIA refuses to consider such studies.

            I am critical of how we in Texas generally approach solar, especially our legislature and current governor.  Governor Perry frequently addresses groups claiming that “ Texas is number one in the country in wind and number two in solar.”  (TREIA has published his comment as well.)  While the first part of his statement is true, the second, in the context of generation from renewables is dead wrong.  Texas generates 99.9% of renewable energy from wind alone.  The Texas resource for solar may be second in the country, but its generation with that resource is just about last.  The Texas legislature takes an ineffective shot-gun approach to addressing solar.

            Texas as a state needs to study the experience of other states and other countries in implementing solar.   Texas needs to formulate a cohesive, long term policy for solar if it wants to truly bring solar industry and generation to Texas .  For the next legislative session, Texas should not rely on the Federal Government to present the solar solutions; Texas must have the guts, vision and leadership to explore something new and implement a long term policy strategy.  To do so will take a collaborative approach across industries, educational institutions, government, non-profits and citizens.   

            Tyra


            From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Andrew McCalla
            Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 6:57 AM
            To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
            Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature




            Tyra and Stephen,

            On this point you are both way off the mark. 

            I can personally vouch and account for TREIA’s efforts at this most recent legislative session, if not over the period of its existence.  While not focused exclusively on solar legislation (it is a Renewable Energy trade association, and despite my solar bias, there are others), TREIA spent more time than you can possibly imagine (clearly) on educating, strategizing, organizing, and supporting decision makers and action takers who were involved with these now ill-fated bills.

            Andrew H. McCalla
            CEO


            Meridian Solar, Inc. (TECL:24461)
            4109 Todd Lane, Suite 900

            Austin , TX 78744

            P: 512.448.0055 ext. 103
            D: 512.410.3872
            F: 512.448.0045
            andrew@meridiansola r.com
            www.meridiansolar. com




            DISCLAIMER:
            This communication, along with any documents, files or attachments, is intended for the use of only the addressee and contains privileged and confidential info rmation. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of any info rmation contained in or attached to this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail reply and destroy the original communication and its attachments without reading, printing or saving in any manner.


            From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Tyra Rankin
            Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 12:56 PM
            To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
            Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature





            Thank you Steven, for having the courage to speak the truth.  I thought I was alone in recognizing that TREIA was not interested in supporting solar for Texas . 

            Que Lastima, indeed… everyone looses.

            Tyra


            From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Steven Shepard
            Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 11:02 AM
            To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
            Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature






            Thanks for the update.
            Another shot in the teeth for renewable energy here in Texas . 
            Que lastima.

            Thanks ASES and TREIA for throwing your entire support behind Texas big wind projects, large energy corporations, utility interests and generally neglecting solar and small wind.    We can see the fruits of your labor and the lack of support for renewable energy dealers across the state.  Lets see if the utilities will continue their donations to you so they can use your non-profit status as a front for their bogus green interests.  I guess grass roots support for renewable energy may be necessary after all.

            And the game goes on and on.  The band is playing while the ship sinks.
            Hey, but I'm not bitter.


            From: Jim & Janet <jhd1@earthlink. net>
            To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
            Sent: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 9:35:02 AM
            Subject: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

            ----- Original Message -----

            Sent: Monday, June 01, 2009 11:52 PM

            Subject: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

            I assume that useful solar energy legislation died in the last session. Am I correct?

            Thanks, Bill S

            .

            Here's the reply via NTREG

            ************ ********* ********* *******

            > --- On Tue, 6/2/09, Jason Coffman wrote:
            > So what ever happened here? From what I can see,
            > this was never voted on. Was it killed in committee?
            > I see it went to committee on 5/30, but I don't see a
            > vote or anything that was supposed to happen on 5/31.

            Jason and everyone,

            This is a long reply, but well worth reading....
            At the moment, it's bad news, but may not be permanently so.
            This is a complicated situation. I was hoping to wait a few more days before reporting on the outcome, because there's a microscopic glimmer of hope it could yet change.
            However .. since you've asked .. here's where we stand:
            You're correct. The key solar bills we were watching never came up for a final vote, killing them (for now).
            Of 208 pieces of legislation introduced in the 2009 session dealing with solar and/or renewables in some form, only one made it to Governor Perry's desk -- a bill allowing homeowners to finance the purchase of solar energy equipment through the state, then pay for their purchase over the next 20 years by an increase in their property tax. With no other incentives, it may be difficult to motivate people to use this program when the up-front cost is so high.
            Now for the [possibly] good news.
            Many vital legislative actions also failed. Case in point: the vote to continue the Department of Transportation didn't happen.
            Legislation failed that would keep the Texas Dept of Transportation funded. The DOT will essentially be shut down if lawmakers don’t vote to keep it funded. That alone virtually guarantees a special session.
            Now then, Governor Perry is the only person with the authority to call a special session.
            He is also the only one who can set the agenda for the special session.
            *IF* he does call a special session, and it's a virtual certainty he will (if only to address the DOT situation at the moment), it opens the door for an opportunity to influence him to include other bills, such as solar. It also opens the door for him to include the voter ID bill, which is at the very heart of all the dissention in the first place.

            Many "IFs" here.

            *IF* Governor Perry calls a special session...

            *IF* he can be persuaded to include the solar bills in that session...

            *IF* the bills get consideration in that special session...

            *IF* the outcome is positive ...

            Only then will we stand a chance to see the solar bills become law.
            There are *many* people and organizations who will be working on behalf of solar energy to get the key "solar" bills included in if/when Governor Perry calls a special legislative session. These are folks you may have heard mentioned ... such as the Texas Solar Energy Industries Association, the Texas Solar Energy Society .. Environment Texas .. and many others.
            Realize too solar is one of possibly dozens of issues, all of which will have advocates and detractors pushing for, or against inclusion in a special session .. *IF* one is called.
            Will it happen? I don't know. All we can do is wait. If Gov Perry *does* call a special session, we can try again this summer to influence our legislators. If not, it'll be two more years.
            In closing, I'd like to add a comment I feel is indicative of what may be the mindset of at least SOME of our legislators:
            I spoke with an aide in Representative Terri Hodge's office a few days ago, during the waning days of this session. She (the aide) told me Rep Hodges was not in favor of the solar bills.
            I asked "Why?".
            Her aid told me she opposed the solar bills "because it would raise the cost of electricity to residential customers to finance the equipment".
            When I asked the aide if she knew how much it would raise a monthly residential bill, she admitted she didn't know. So I told her - only 20 cents a month. The aide's reaction? "Is that all?". Apparently Rep Hodge was also under the impression the increase would be large, but by then it was too late.
            Representative Hodge had been told it would raise electric bills. Apparently she hadn't been told how little the increase would be. Less than a penny a day.
            I have to believe this is indicative how other legislators' understanding of the situation must be.
            Energy is a complicated issue. One of the staunchest opponents to the solar bills is Representative Sylvester Turner of Houston .
            Why? I don't know.
            In closing .. the solar bills didn't die because they were bad bills. In fact, they passed the Senate on overwhelmingly supportive vote counts. 26 to 4 in one case. 27 to 3 in the other (if memory serves correctly.) They came out of committee with a unanimous vote in one case .. and only one member voting in opposition in the other. The support was there.
            So why did the solar bills (like so MANY other bills) .. fail?
            The solar bills failed to become law because our elected officials reverted to partisan bickering over one bill. "Voter ID." Rather than set the ID issue aside and deal with other legislation .. such as solar .. it became a "prevail at all cost with my point of view" no matter what the cost. Good legislation became the victim in the process.
            I've included three links below to news articles with additional detail on the overall outcome.
            My suggestion: Print them all. Use them for "bathroom" reading material. It's enough to make you sick.

            http://greeninc. blogs.nytimes. com/2009/ 06/01/solar- push-in-texas- fails/
            Same link: http://tinyurl. com/lhdusv

            http://blogs. wsj.com/environm entalcapital/ 2009/06/01/ texas-kills- solar-bill- on-last-minute- motion/
            Same link: http://tinyurl. com/kl8hfr

            http://www.chron. com/disp/ story.mpl/ hotstories/ 6453502.html
            Same link: http://tinyurl. com/maxfk9

            Will keep you posted.

            Dan

            P.S. If Yahoo messes up any of the long links above, use the "Tiny URL" link I've provided. It's the same link as each of the originals, just shorter.



          • Andrew McCalla
            Tyra, You touched on a lot of points there, and while I don t consider them all accurate, I do recognize them as thoughtful. Since TREIA was my very first step
            Message 5 of 24 , Jun 3, 2009
            • 0 Attachment

              Tyra,

               

              You touched on a lot of points there, and while I don’t consider them all accurate, I do recognize them as thoughtful.

               

              Since TREIA was my very first step in entering this industry 15 years ago, and as Chair of the TREIA Membership Committee, I don’t consider them exclusive of new people.

               

              Having seen impressively flexible maneuvering and positioning in this most recent legislative melee, I don’t see TREIA as exclusive of new ideas.  To the contrary, it is willing to embrace them and roll with them on the fly.

              And as far as studies go, I’m not sure which ones they have shunned, but would be interested to see them and get your insight as to how they can serve as relevant catalysts for TREIA, and the legislature to formulate a cohesive, long term policy for solar.

              I, among others, felt like we had a pretty good shot at some significant legislation this time around.  But for the efforts of one man, it seemed like it was going to happen.

              Maybe next session we can get him on board, but its going to take a lot more than TREIA……..it’s going to take Texans, a lot of them, including you.

              Andrew

               

              PS:  Please show me where TREIA published the statement “ Texas is number one in the country in wind and number two in solar.” 

               

               

              Andrew H. McCalla
              CEO


              Meridian Solar, Inc. (TECL:24461)
              4109 Todd Lane, Suite 900

              Austin, TX 78744

              P: 512.448.0055 ext. 103
              D: 512.410.3872
              F: 512.448.0045
              andrew@...
              www.meridiansolar.com



               

              DISCLAIMER:
              This communication, along with any documents, files or attachments, is intended for the use of only the addressee and contains privileged and confidential info rmation. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of any info rmation contained in or attached to this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail reply and destroy the original communication and its attachments without reading, printing or saving in any manner.

               


              From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Tyra Rankin
              Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:21 AM
              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

               




              Andrew:

               

              I take your comment to heart – I do know that TREIA has done a lot of work on renewables.  My experience, however at trying to get involved with TREIA around solar is that they are horribly resistant to change, do not study other solutions and for the last 10 years, have proposed the same solar solution, session after session to the Texas legislature, namely “non-wind.”  When I tried to dialogue with them on the in-efficacy of this policy for solar, I was basically silenced.  They are not inclusive of new people, new ideas and new studies. 

               

              I do not propose to have the solutions, but I did an enormous amount of research on solar policy for my master’s thesis on solar policy at UH law.  I discovered that in Europe and elsewhere there are 20 year studies analyzing and comparing which policies work for solar, which do not and why.  The results of those studies are extremely conclusive.  Texas is a perfect example of the failure of a Renewable Portfolio Standard to deploy solar.  TREIA refuses to consider such studies.

               

              I am critical of how we in Texas generally approach solar, especially our legislature and current governor.  Governor Perry frequently addresses groups claiming that “ Texas is number one in the country in wind and number two in solar.”  (TREIA has published his comment as well.)  While the first part of his statement is true, the second, in the context of generation from renewables is dead wrong.  Texas generates 99.9% of renewable energy from wind alone.  The Texas resource for solar may be second in the country, but its generation with that resource is just about last.  The Texas legislature takes an ineffective shot-gun approach to addressing solar.

               

              Texas as a state needs to study the experience of other states and other countries in implementing solar.   Texas needs to formulate a cohesive, long term policy for solar if it wants to truly bring solar industry and generation to Texas .  For the next legislative session, Texas should not rely on the Federal Government to present the solar solutions; Texas must have the guts, vision and leadership to explore something new and implement a long term policy strategy.  To do so will take a collaborative approach across industries, educational institutions, government, non-profits and citizens.   

               

              Tyra

               

               


              From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Andrew McCalla
              Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 6:57 AM
              To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
              Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

               





              Tyra and Stephen,

               

              On this point you are both way off the mark. 

               

              I can personally vouch and account for TREIA’s efforts at this most recent legislative session, if not over the period of its existence.  While not focused exclusively on solar legislation (it is a Renewable Energy trade association, and despite my solar bias, there are others), TREIA spent more time than you can possibly imagine (clearly) on educating, strategizing, organizing, and supporting decision makers and action takers who were involved with these now ill-fated bills.

              Andrew H. McCalla
              CEO


              Meridian Solar, Inc. (TECL:24461)
              4109 Todd Lane, Suite 900

              Austin , TX 78744

              P: 512.448.0055 ext. 103
              D: 512.410.3872
              F: 512.448.0045
              andrew@meridiansola r.com
              www.meridiansolar. com





               

              DISCLAIMER:
              This communication, along with any documents, files or attachments, is intended for the use of only the addressee and contains privileged and confidential info rmation. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of any info rmation contained in or attached to this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail reply and destroy the original communication and its attachments without reading, printing or saving in any manner.

               


              From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Tyra Rankin
              Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 12:56 PM
              To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
              Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

               






              Thank you Steven, for having the courage to speak the truth.  I thought I was alone in recognizing that TREIA was not interested in supporting solar for Texas . 

               

              Que Lastima, indeed… everyone looses.

               

              Tyra

               


              From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Steven Shepard
              Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 11:02 AM
              To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
              Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

               







              Thanks for the update.
              Another shot in the teeth for renewable energy here in Texas . 
              Que lastima.

              Thanks ASES and TREIA for throwing your entire support behind Texas big wind projects, large energy corporations, utility interests and generally neglecting solar and small wind.    We can see the fruits of your labor and the lack of support for renewable energy dealers across the state.  Lets see if the utilities will continue their donations to you so they can use your non-profit status as a front for their bogus green interests.  I guess grass roots support for renewable energy may be necessary after all.

              And the game goes on and on.  The band is playing while the ship sinks.
              Hey, but I'm not bitter.

               

               

               


              From: Jim & Janet <jhd1@earthlink. net>
              To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
              Sent: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 9:35:02 AM
              Subject: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

               

              ----- Original Message -----

              Sent: Monday, June 01, 2009 11:52 PM

              Subject: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

               

              I assume that useful solar energy legislation died in the last session. Am I correct?

               

              Thanks, Bill S

              .

               

              Here's the reply via NTREG

              ************ ********* ********* *******

               

              > --- On Tue, 6/2/09, Jason Coffman wrote:
              > So what ever happened here? From what I can see,
              > this was never voted on. Was it killed in committee?
              > I see it went to committee on 5/30, but I don't see a
              > vote or anything that was supposed to happen on 5/31.

               

              Jason and everyone,

              This is a long reply, but well worth reading....
              At the moment, it's bad news, but may not be permanently so.
              This is a complicated situation. I was hoping to wait a few more days before reporting on the outcome, because there's a microscopic glimmer of hope it could yet change.
              However .. since you've asked .. here's where we stand:
              You're correct. The key solar bills we were watching never came up for a final vote, killing them (for now).
              Of 208 pieces of legislation introduced in the 2009 session dealing with solar and/or renewables in some form, only one made it to Governor Perry's desk -- a bill allowing homeowners to finance the purchase of solar energy equipment through the state, then pay for their purchase over the next 20 years by an increase in their property tax. With no other incentives, it may be difficult to motivate people to use this program when the up-front cost is so high.
              Now for the [possibly] good news.
              Many vital legislative actions also failed. Case in point: the vote to continue the Department of Transportation didn't happen.
              Legislation failed that would keep the Texas Dept of Transportation funded. The DOT will essentially be shut down if lawmakers don’t vote to keep it funded. That alone virtually guarantees a special session.
              Now then, Governor Perry is the only person with the authority to call a special session.
              He is also the only one who can set the agenda for the special session.
              *IF* he does call a special session, and it's a virtual certainty he will (if only to address the DOT situation at the moment), it opens the door for an opportunity to influence him to include other bills, such as solar. It also opens the door for him to include the voter ID bill, which is at the very heart of all the dissention in the first place.

              Many "IFs" here.

              *IF* Governor Perry calls a special session...

              *IF* he can be persuaded to include the solar bills in that session...

              *IF* the bills get consideration in that special session...

              *IF* the outcome is positive ...

              Only then will we stand a chance to see the solar bills become law.
              There are *many* people and organizations who will be working on behalf of solar energy to get the key "solar" bills included in if/when Governor Perry calls a special legislative session. These are folks you may have heard mentioned ... such as the Texas Solar Energy Industries Association, the Texas Solar Energy Society .. Environment Texas .. and many others.
              Realize too solar is one of possibly dozens of issues, all of which will have advocates and detractors pushing for, or against inclusion in a special session .. *IF* one is called.
              Will it happen? I don't know. All we can do is wait. If Gov Perry *does* call a special session, we can try again this summer to influence our legislators. If not, it'll be two more years.
              In closing, I'd like to add a comment I feel is indicative of what may be the mindset of at least SOME of our legislators:
              I spoke with an aide in Representative Terri Hodge's office a few days ago, during the waning days of this session. She (the aide) told me Rep Hodges was not in favor of the solar bills.
              I asked "Why?".
              Her aid told me she opposed the solar bills "because it would raise the cost of electricity to residential customers to finance the equipment".
              When I asked the aide if she knew how much it would raise a monthly residential bill, she admitted she didn't know. So I told her - only 20 cents a month. The aide's reaction? "Is that all?". Apparently Rep Hodge was also under the impression the increase would be large, but by then it was too late.
              Representative Hodge had been told it would raise electric bills. Apparently she hadn't been told how little the increase would be. Less than a penny a day.
              I have to believe this is indicative how other legislators' understanding of the situation must be.
              Energy is a complicated issue. One of the staunchest opponents to the solar bills is Representative Sylvester Turner of Houston .
              Why? I don't know.
              In closing .. the solar bills didn't die because they were bad bills. In fact, they passed the Senate on overwhelmingly supportive vote counts. 26 to 4 in one case. 27 to 3 in the other (if memory serves correctly.) They came out of committee with a unanimous vote in one case .. and only one member voting in opposition in the other. The support was there.
              So why did the solar bills (like so MANY other bills) .. fail?
              The solar bills failed to become law because our elected officials reverted to partisan bickering over one bill. "Voter ID." Rather than set the ID issue aside and deal with other legislation .. such as solar .. it became a "prevail at all cost with my point of view" no matter what the cost. Good legislation became the victim in the process.
              I've included three links below to news articles with additional detail on the overall outcome.
              My suggestion: Print them all. Use them for "bathroom" reading material. It's enough to make you sick.

              http://greeninc. blogs.nytimes. com/2009/ 06/01/solar- push-in-texas- fails/
              Same link:

            • Kevin Conlin
              Tyra, You make very good points, and I m sorry your experience with TREIA was so negative. As you know, I am supportive of the organization, but I m also very
              Message 6 of 24 , Jun 3, 2009
              • 0 Attachment

                Tyra, You make very good points, and I’m sorry your experience with TREIA was so negative. As you know, I am supportive of the organization, but I’m also very frustrated on the lack of progress, and as a TREIA member, I am very open to new ideas and approaches.

                 

                Perhaps this isn’t the best forum, but I would like to know more about your approach and ideas. I am a former TREIA officer, board member and committee chair, and if we need to rethink our approach for the next legislature, we need to start now, while we’re still smarting from defeat.

                 

                If you have a moment, would you contact me offline?

                 

                Thanks,  Kevin

                 

                Kevin Conlin

                13534 Quetzal Lane

                Houston, TX 77083

                281-530-7501 home

                281-530-7501 fax

                1-281-202-9629 cell

                kevin@...

                 


                From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Tyra Rankin
                Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:21 AM
                To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

                 




                Andrew:

                 

                I take your comment to heart – I do know that TREIA has done a lot of work on renewables.  My experience, however at trying to get involved with TREIA around solar is that they are horribly resistant to change, do not study other solutions and for the last 10 years, have proposed the same solar solution, session after session to the Texas legislature, namely “non-wind.”  When I tried to dialogue with them on the in-efficacy of this policy for solar, I was basically silenced.  They are not inclusive of new people, new ideas and new studies. 

                 

                I do not propose to have the solutions, but I did an enormous amount of research on solar policy for my master’s thesis on solar policy at UH law.  I discovered that in Europe and elsewhere there are 20 year studies analyzing and comparing which policies work for solar, which do not and why.  The results of those studies are extremely conclusive.  Texas is a perfect example of the failure of a Renewable Portfolio Standard to deploy solar.  TREIA refuses to consider such studies.

                 

                I am critical of how we in Texas generally approach solar, especially our legislature and current governor.  Governor Perry frequently addresses groups claiming that “ Texas is number one in the country in wind and number two in solar.”  (TREIA has published his comment as well.)  While the first part of his statement is true, the second, in the context of generation from renewables is dead wrong.  Texas generates 99.9% of renewable energy from wind alone.  The Texas resource for solar may be second in the country, but its generation with that resource is just about last.  The Texas legislature takes an ineffective shot-gun approach to addressing solar.

                 

                Texas as a state needs to study the experience of other states and other countries in implementing solar.   Texas needs to formulate a cohesive, long term policy for solar if it wants to truly bring solar industry and generation to Texas .  For the next legislative session, Texas should not rely on the Federal Government to present the solar solutions; Texas must have the guts, vision and leadership to explore something new and implement a long term policy strategy.  To do so will take a collaborative approach across industries, educational institutions, government, non-profits and citizens.   

                 

                Tyra

                 

                 


                From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Andrew McCalla
                Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 6:57 AM
                To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

                 





                Tyra and Stephen,

                 

                On this point you are both way off the mark. 

                 

                I can personally vouch and account for TREIA’s efforts at this most recent legislative session, if not over the period of its existence.  While not focused exclusively on solar legislation (it is a Renewable Energy trade association, and despite my solar bias, there are others), TREIA spent more time than you can possibly imagine (clearly) on educating, strategizing, organizing, and supporting decision makers and action takers who were involved with these now ill-fated bills.

                Andrew H. McCalla
                CEO


                Meridian Solar, Inc. (TECL:24461)
                4109 Todd Lane, Suite 900

                Austin , TX 78744

                P: 512.448.0055 ext. 103
                D: 512.410.3872
                F: 512.448.0045
                andrew@meridiansola r.com
                www.meridiansolar. com





                 

                DISCLAIMER:
                This communication, along with any documents, files or attachments, is intended for the use of only the addressee and contains privileged and confidential info rmation. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of any info rmation contained in or attached to this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail reply and destroy the original communication and its attachments without reading, printing or saving in any manner.

                 


                From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Tyra Rankin
                Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 12:56 PM
                To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

                 






                Thank you Steven, for having the courage to speak the truth.  I thought I was alone in recognizing that TREIA was not interested in supporting solar for Texas . 

                 

                Que Lastima, indeed… everyone looses.

                 

                Tyra

                 


                From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Steven Shepard
                Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 11:02 AM
                To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

                 







                Thanks for the update.
                Another shot in the teeth for renewable energy here in Texas . 
                Que lastima.

                Thanks ASES and TREIA for throwing your entire support behind Texas big wind projects, large energy corporations, utility interests and generally neglecting solar and small wind.    We can see the fruits of your labor and the lack of support for renewable energy dealers across the state.  Lets see if the utilities will continue their donations to you so they can use your non-profit status as a front for their bogus green interests.  I guess grass roots support for renewable energy may be necessary after all.

                And the game goes on and on.  The band is playing while the ship sinks.
                Hey, but I'm not bitter.

                 

                 

                 


                From: Jim & Janet <jhd1@earthlink. net>
                To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                Sent: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 9:35:02 AM
                Subject: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

                 

                ----- Original Message -----

                Sent: Monday, June 01, 2009 11:52 PM

                Subject: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

                 

                I assume that useful solar energy legislation died in the last session. Am I correct?

                 

                Thanks, Bill S

                .

                 

                Here's the reply via NTREG

                ************ ********* ********* *******

                 

                > --- On Tue, 6/2/09, Jason Coffman wrote:
                > So what ever happened here? From what I can see,
                > this was never voted on. Was it killed in committee?
                > I see it went to committee on 5/30, but I don't see a
                > vote or anything that was supposed to happen on 5/31.

                 

                Jason and everyone,

                This is a long reply, but well worth reading....
                At the moment, it's bad news, but may not be permanently so.
                This is a complicated situation. I was hoping to wait a few more days before reporting on the outcome, because there's a microscopic glimmer of hope it could yet change.
                However .. since you've asked .. here's where we stand:
                You're correct. The key solar bills we were watching never came up for a final vote, killing them (for now).
                Of 208 pieces of legislation introduced in the 2009 session dealing with solar and/or renewables in some form, only one made it to Governor Perry's desk -- a bill allowing homeowners to finance the purchase of solar energy equipment through the state, then pay for their purchase over the next 20 years by an increase in their property tax. With no other incentives, it may be difficult to motivate people to use this program when the up-front cost is so high.
                Now for the [possibly] good news.
                Many vital legislative actions also failed. Case in point: the vote to continue the Department of Transportation didn't happen.
                Legislation failed that would keep the Texas Dept of Transportation funded. The DOT will essentially be shut down if lawmakers don’t vote to keep it funded. That alone virtually guarantees a special session.
                Now then, Governor Perry is the only person with the authority to call a special session.
                He is also the only one who can set the agenda for the special session.
                *IF* he does call a special session, and it's a virtual certainty he will (if only to address the DOT situation at the moment), it opens the door for an opportunity to influence him to include other bills, such as solar. It also opens the door for him to include the voter ID bill, which is at the very heart of all the dissention in the first place.

                Many "IFs" here.

                *IF* Governor Perry calls a special session...

                *IF* he can be persuaded to include the solar bills in that session...

                *IF* the bills get consideration in that special session...

                *IF* the outcome is positive ...

                Only then will we stand a chance to see the solar bills become law.
                There are *many* people and organizations who will be working on behalf of solar energy to get the key "solar" bills included in if/when Governor Perry calls a special legislative session. These are folks you may have heard mentioned ... such as the Texas Solar Energy Industries Association, the Texas Solar Energy Society .. Environment Texas .. and many others.
                Realize too solar is one of possibly dozens of issues, all of which will have advocates and detractors pushing for, or against inclusion in a special session .. *IF* one is called.
                Will it happen? I don't know. All we can do is wait. If Gov Perry *does* call a special session, we can try again this summer to influence our legislators. If not, it'll be two more years.
                In closing, I'd like to add a comment I feel is indicative of what may be the mindset of at least SOME of our legislators:
                I spoke with an aide in Representative Terri Hodge's office a few days ago, during the waning days of this session. She (the aide) told me Rep Hodges was not in favor of the solar bills.
                I asked "Why?".
                Her aid told me she opposed the solar bills "because it would raise the cost of electricity to residential customers to finance the equipment".
                When I asked the aide if she knew how much it would raise a monthly residential bill, she admitted she didn't know. So I told her - only 20 cents a month. The aide's reaction? "Is that all?". Apparently Rep Hodge was also under the impression the increase would be large, but by then it was too late.
                Representative Hodge had been told it would raise electric bills. Apparently she hadn't been told how little the increase would be. Less than a penny a day.
                I have to believe this is indicative how other legislators' understanding of the situation must be.
                Energy is a complicated issue. One of the staunchest opponents to the solar bills is Representative Sylvester Turner of Houston .
                Why? I don't know.
                In closing .. the solar bills didn't die because they were bad bills. In fact, they passed the Senate on overwhelmingly supportive vote counts. 26 to 4 in one case. 27 to 3 in the other (if memory serves correctly.) They came out of committee with a unanimous vote in one case .. and only one member voting in opposition in the other. The support was there.
                So why did the solar bills (like so MANY other bills) .. fail?
                The solar bills failed to become law because our elected officials reverted to partisan bickering over one bill. "Voter ID." Rather than set the ID issue aside and deal with other legislation .. such as solar .. it became a "prevail at all cost with my point of view" no matter what the cost. Good legislation became the victim in the process.
                I've included three links below to news articles with additional detail on the overall outcome.
                My suggestion: Print them all. Use them for "bathroom" reading material. It's enough to make you sick.

                http://greeninc. blogs.nytimes. com/2009/ 06/01/solar- push-in-texas- fails/
                Same link: http://tinyurl. com/lhdusv

                http://blogs. wsj.com/environm entalcapital/ 2009/06/01/ texas-kills- solar-bill- on-last-minute- motion/
                Same link: http://tinyurl. com/kl8hfr

                http://www.chron. com/disp/ story.mpl/ hotstories/ 6453502.html
                Same link: http://tinyurl. com/maxfk9

                Will keep you posted.

                Dan

                P.S. If Yahoo messes up any of the long links above, use the "Tiny URL" link I've provided. It's the same link as each of the originals, just shorter.




                 

              • Tyra Rankin
                Andrew: TREIA was my first foray into renewable energy several years back as well. I credit them with helpful education and some wonderful associations. You
                Message 7 of 24 , Jun 3, 2009
                • 0 Attachment

                  Andrew:

                   

                  TREIA was my first foray into renewable energy several years back as well.  I credit them with helpful education and some wonderful associations.  You and I will have to visit sometime and perhaps I can better describe my experience with the organization around solar policy. 

                   

                  Here is the Governor’s misstatement about solar that was printed in the June, 2008 TREIA newsletter.  It appears on page 5.  I sent a message to Scott asking that he include a rebuttal to the Governor, as I had personally heard the Governor make the same misstatement earlier in Houston at a press conference with the Houston Technology Center .

                   

                  The governor also called for increased study in �Dalternative energy sources,‖ noting that �DTexas

                  has ranked number one in the nation for wind power generation for the last couple years, and is first in

                  biofuels and second in solar power.

                   

                  Tyra


                  From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Andrew McCalla
                  Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 3:15 PM
                  To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

                   




                  Tyra,

                   

                  You touched on a lot of points there, and while I don’t consider them all accurate, I do recognize them as thoughtful.

                   

                  Since TREIA was my very first step in entering this industry 15 years ago, and as Chair of the TREIA Membership Committee, I don’t consider them exclusive of new people.

                   

                  Having seen impressively flexible maneuvering and positioning in this most recent legislative melee, I don’t see TREIA as exclusive of new ideas.  To the contrary, it is willing to embrace them and roll with them on the fly.

                  And as far as studies go, I’m not sure which ones they have shunned, but would be interested to see them and get your insight as to how they can serve as relevant catalysts for TREIA, and the legislature to formulate a cohesive, long term policy for solar.

                  I, among others, felt like we had a pretty good shot at some significant legislation this time around.  But for the efforts of one man, it seemed like it was going to happen.

                  Maybe next session we can get him on board, but its going to take a lot more than TREIA……..it’s going to take Texans, a lot of them, including you.

                  Andrew

                   

                  PS:  Please show me where TREIA published the statement “ Texas is number one in the country in wind and number two in solar.” 

                   

                   

                  Andrew H. McCalla
                  CEO


                  Meridian Solar, Inc. (TECL:24461)
                  4109 Todd Lane, Suite 900

                  Austin , TX 78744

                  P: 512.448.0055 ext. 103
                  D: 512.410.3872
                  F: 512.448.0045
                  andrew@meridiansola r.com
                  www.meridiansolar. com




                   

                  DISCLAIMER:
                  This communication, along with any documents, files or attachments, is intended for the use of only the addressee and contains privileged and confidential info rmation. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of any info rmation contained in or attached to this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail reply and destroy the original communication and its attachments without reading, printing or saving in any manner.

                   


                  From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Tyra Rankin
                  Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:21 AM
                  To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                  Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

                   





                  Andrew:

                   

                  I take your comment to heart �C I do know that TREIA has done a lot of work on renewables.  My experience, however at trying to get involved with TREIA around solar is that they are horribly resistant to change, do not study other solutions and for the last 10 years, have proposed the same solar solution, session after session to the Texas legislature, namely “non-wind.”  When I tried to dialogue with them on the in-efficacy of this policy for solar, I was basically silenced.  They are not inclusive of new people, new ideas and new studies. 

                   

                  I do not propose to have the solutions, but I did an enormous amount of research on solar policy for my master’s thesis on solar policy at UH law.  I discovered that in Europe and elsewhere there are 20 year studies analyzing and comparing which policies work for solar, which do not and why.  The results of those studies are extremely conclusive.  Texas is a perfect example of the failure of a Renewable Portfolio Standard to deploy solar.  TREIA refuses to consider such studies.

                   

                  I am critical of how we in Texas generally approach solar, especially our legislature and current governor.  Governor Perry frequently addresses groups claiming that “ Texas is number one in the country in wind and number two in solar.”  (TREIA has published his comment as well.)  While the first part of his statement is true, the second, in the context of generation from renewables is dead wrong.  Texas generates 99.9% of renewable energy from wind alone.  The Texas resource for solar may be second in the country, but its generation with that resource is just about last.  The Texas legislature takes an ineffective shot-gun approach to addressing solar.

                   

                  Texas as a state needs to study the experience of other states and other countries in implementing solar.   Texas needs to formulate a cohesive, long term policy for solar if it wants to truly bring solar industry and generation to Texas .  For the next legislative session, Texas should not rely on the Federal Government to present the solar solutions; Texas must have the guts, vision and leadership to explore something new and implement a long term policy strategy.  To do so will take a collaborative approach across industries, educational institutions, government, non-profits and citizens.   

                   

                  Tyra

                   

                   


                  From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Andrew McCalla
                  Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 6:57 AM
                  To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                  Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

                   






                  Tyra and Stephen,

                   

                  On this point you are both way off the mark. 

                   

                  I can personally vouch and account for TREIA’s efforts at this most recent legislative session, if not over the period of its existence.  While not focused exclusively on solar legislation (it is a Renewable Energy trade association, and despite my solar bias, there are others), TREIA spent more time than you can possibly imagine (clearly) on educating, strategizing, organizing, and supporting decision makers and action takers who were involved with these now ill-fated bills.

                  Andrew H. McCalla
                  CEO


                  Meridian Solar, Inc. (TECL:24461)
                  4109 Todd Lane, Suite 900

                  Austin , TX 78744

                  P: 512.448.0055 ext. 103
                  D: 512.410.3872
                  F: 512.448.0045
                  andrew@meridiansola r.com
                  www.meridiansolar. com






                   

                  DISCLAIMER:
                  This communication, along with any documents, files or attachments, is intended for the use of only the addressee and contains privileged and confidential info rmation. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of any info rmation contained in or attached to this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail reply and destroy the original communication and its attachments without reading, printing or saving in any manner.

                   


                  From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Tyra Rankin
                  Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 12:56 PM
                  To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                  Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

                   







                  Thank you Steven, for having the courage to speak the truth.  I thought I was alone in recognizing that TREIA was not interested in supporting solar for Texas . 

                   

                  Que Lastima, indeed… everyone looses.

                   

                  Tyra

                   


                  From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Steven Shepard
                  Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 11:02 AM
                  To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                  Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

                   








                  Thanks for the update.
                  Another shot in the teeth for renewable energy here in Texas . 
                  Que lastima.

                  Thanks ASES and TREIA for throwing your entire support behind Texas big wind projects, large energy corporations, utility interests and generally neglecting solar and small wind.    We can see the fruits of your labor and the lack of support for renewable energy dealers across the state.  Lets see if the utilities will continue their donations to you so they can use your non-profit status as a front for their bogus green interests.  I guess grass roots support for renewable energy may be necessary after all.

                  And the game goes on and on.  The band is playing while the ship sinks.
                  Hey, but I'm not bitter.

                   

                   

                   


                  From: Jim & Janet <jhd1@earthlink. net>
                  To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                  Sent: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 9:35:02 AM
                  Subject: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

                   

                  ----- Original Message -----

                  Sent: Monday, June 01, 2009 11:52 PM

                  Subject: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

                   

                  I assume that useful solar energy legislation died in the last session. Am I correct?

                   

                  Thanks, Bill S

                  .

                   

                  Here's the reply via NTREG

                  ************ ********* ********* *******

                   

                  > --- On Tue, 6/2/09, Jason Coffman wrote:
                  > So what ever happened here? From what I can see,
                  > this was never voted on. Was it killed in committee?
                  > I see it went to committee on 5/30, but I don't see a
                  > vote or anything that was supposed to happen on 5/31.

                   

                  Jason and everyone,

                  This is a long reply, but well worth reading....
                  At the moment, it's bad news, but may not be permanently so.
                  This is a complicated situation. I was hoping to wait a few more days before reporting on the outcome, because there's a microscopic glimmer of hope it could yet change.
                  However .. since you've asked .. here's where we stand:
                  You're correct. The key solar bills we were watching never came up for a final vote, killing them (for now).
                  Of 208 pieces of legislation introduced in the 2009 session dealing with solar and/or renewables in some form, only one made it to Governor Perry's desk -- a bill allowing homeowners to finance the purchase of solar energy equipment through the state, then pay for their purchase over the next 20 years by an increase in their property tax. With no other incentives, it may be difficult to motivate people to use this program when the up-front cost is so high.
                  Now for the [possibly] good news.
                  Many vital legislative actions also failed. Case in point: the vote to continue the Department of Transportation didn't happen.
                  Legislation failed that would keep the Texas Dept of Transportation funded. The DOT will essentially be shut down if lawmakers don’t vote to keep it funded. That alone virtually guarantees a special session.
                  Now then, Governor Perry is the only person with the authority to call a special session.
                  He is also the only one who can set the agenda for the special session.
                  *IF* he does call a special session, and it's a virtual certainty he will (if only to address the DOT situation at the moment), it opens the door for an opportunity to influence him to include other bills, such as solar. It also opens the door for him to include the voter ID bill, which is at the very heart of all the dissention in the first place.

                  Many "IFs" here.

                  *IF* Governor Perry calls a special session...

                  *IF* he can be persuaded to include the solar bills in that session...

                  *IF* the bills get consideration in that special session...

                  *IF* the outcome is positive ...

                  Only then will we stand a chance to see the solar bills become law.
                  There are *many* people and organizations who will be working on behalf of solar energy to get the key "solar" bills included in if/when Governor Perry calls a special legislative session. These are folks you may have heard mentioned ... such as the Texas Solar Energy Industries Association, the Texas Solar Energy Society .. Environment Texas .. and many others.
                  Realize too solar is one of possibly dozens of issues, all of which will have advocates and detractors pushing for, or against inclusion in a special session .. *IF* one is called.
                  Will it happen? I don't know. All we can do is wait. If Gov Perry *does* call a special session, we can try again this summer to influence our legislators. If not, it'll be two more years.
                  In closing, I'd like to add a comment I feel is indicative of what may be the mindset of at least SOME of our legislators:
                  I spoke with an aide in Representative Terri Hodge's office a few days ago, during the waning days of this session. She (the aide) told me Rep Hodges was not in favor of the solar bills.
                  I asked "Why?".
                  Her aid told me she opposed the solar bills "because it would raise the cost of electricity to residential customers to finance the equipment".
                  When I asked the aide if she knew how much it would raise a monthly residential bill, she admitted she didn't know. So I told her - only 20 cents a month. The aide's reaction? "Is that all?". Apparently Rep Hodge was also under the impression the increase would be large, but by then it was too late.
                  Representative Hodge had been told it would raise electric bills. Apparently she hadn't been told how little the increase would be. Less than a penny a day.
                  I have to believe this is indicative how other legislators' understanding of the situation must be.
                  Energy is a complicated issue. One of the staunchest opponents to the solar bills is Representative Sylvester Turner of Houston .
                  Why? I don't know.
                  In closing .. the solar bills didn't die because they were bad bills. In fact, they passed the Senate on overwhelmingly supportive vote counts. 26 to 4 in one case. 27 to 3 in the other (if memory serves correctly.) They came out of committee with a unanimous vote in one case .. and only one member voting in opposition in the other. The support was there.
                  So why did the solar bills (like so MANY other bills) .. fail?
                  The solar bills failed to become law because our elected officials reverted to partisan bickering over one bill. "Voter ID." Rather than set the ID issue aside and deal with other legislation .. such as solar .. it became a "prevail at all cost with my point of view" no matter what the cost. Good legislation became the victim in the process.
                  I've included three links below to news articles with additional detail on the overall outcome.
                  My suggestion: Print them all. Use them for "bathroom" reading material. It's enough to make you sick.

                  http://greeninc. blogs.nytimes. com/2009/ 06/01/solar- push-in-texas- fails/
                  Same link: http://tinyurl. com/lhdusv

                  http://blogs. wsj.com/environm entalcapital/ 2009/06/01/ texas-kills- solar-bill- on-last-minute- motion/
                  Same link: http://tinyurl. com/kl8hfr

                  http://www.chron. com/disp/ story.mpl/ hotstories/ 6453502.html
                  Same link: http://tinyurl. com/maxfk9

                  Will keep you posted.

                  Dan

                  P.S. If Yahoo messes up any of the long links above, use the "Tiny URL" link I've provided. It's the same link as each of the originals, just shorter.





                   

                • Tyra Rankin
                  Hello Phillip. I think it is all the issues you touch on, but a large percentage of it is policy driven. CSP would work great in the general West Texas
                  Message 8 of 24 , Jun 3, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment

                    Hello Phillip.  I think it is all the issues you touch on, but a large percentage of it is policy driven.  CSP would work great in the general West Texas climate.  There is a group in Texas right now trying to put in a utility scale, roughly $600M concentrated solar thermal plant in West Texas .  My understanding is they have not been successful in obtaining financing.  While financing is not easy to come by for most right now, the lack of solar policy in Texas hurts their ability.  Arizona , Nevada , California , perhaps New Mexico have lots of CSP install and construction.  All have supportive policies.

                     

                    In April/May I helped host scientists from Ben-Gurion University in Israel who have an exciting combined PV and concentrated thermal design.  It reduces costs by using a small PV plate and amplifies production with the concentrator.  This technology would be excellent for West Texas .  David Faiman showed a map of the best insolation in the state for the technology.

                     

                    Iran has 2 CSP plants in operation; I saw one when I was there in April.  They have fantastic desert climate and insolation over 80% of the country.

                     

                    Tyra

                     


                    From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Philip Timmons
                    Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 1:23 PM
                    To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

                     




                    Hey Tyra,

                    Ok, I count that as some pretty legit backgrounding.

                    Technical / Policy Question?

                    What did you find regarding Solar Thermal (Electric Generation -- like this

                    >>> www.ausra.com and others) and its use in
                    w:st="on">Spain , and other sites, including the US , but relative absence in Texas ?

                    Is that mostly considered a Policy issue?  Corporate Politics?  Less Than Optimal Geography/Insolatio n?  Something else?

                    Thanks.




                    --- On Wed, 6/3/09, Anne Kelly <anniemktx@yahoo. com> wrote:


                    From: Anne Kelly <anniemktx@yahoo. com>
                    Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature
                    To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                    Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 9:43 AM

                    Great letter, Tyra.  Please forward it to our governer and the legislators!

                    --- On Wed, 6/3/09, Tyra Rankin < tyra@... > wrote:


                    From: Tyra Rankin < tyra@... >
                    Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature
                    To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                    Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 9:21 AM

                    Andrew:

                     

                    I take your comment to heart – I do know that TREIA has done a lot of work on renewables.  My experience, however at trying to get involved with TREIA around solar is that they are horribly resistant to change, do not study other solutions and for the last 10 years, have proposed the same solar solution, session after session to the Texas legislature, namely “non-wind.”  When I tried to dialogue with them on the in-efficacy of this policy for solar, I was basically silenced.  They are not inclusive of new people, new ideas and new studies. 

                     

                    I do not propose to have the solutions, but I did an enormous amount of research on solar policy for my master’s thesis on solar policy at UH law.  I discovered that in Europe and elsewhere there are 20 year studies analyzing and comparing which policies work for solar, which do not and why.  The results of those studies are extremely conclusive.  Texas is a perfect example of the failure of a Renewable Portfolio Standard to deploy solar.  TREIA refuses to consider such studies.

                     

                    I am critical of how we in Texas generally approach solar, especially our legislature and current governor.  Governor Perry frequently addresses groups claiming that “ Texas is number one in the country in wind and number two in solar.”  (TREIA has published his comment as well.)  While the first part of his statement is true, the second, in the context of generation from renewables is dead wrong.  Texas generates 99.9% of renewable energy from wind alone.  The Texas resource for solar may be second in the country, but its generation with that resource is just about last.  The Texas legislature takes an ineffective shot-gun approach to addressing solar.

                     

                    Texas as a state needs to study the experience of other states and other countries in implementing solar.   Texas needs to formulate a cohesive, long term policy for solar if it wants to truly bring solar industry and generation to Texas .  For the next legislative session, Texas should not rely on the Federal Government to present the solar solutions; Texas must have the guts, vision and leadership to explore something new and implement a long term policy strategy.  To do so will take a collaborative approach across industries, educational institutions, government, non-profits and citizens.   

                     

                    Tyra

                     

                     

                     

                  • Lourdes Aguinaco
                    I heard on the radio that Gov. Rick Perry has stated he will open up a special session.   Is there a way we can send a note or something to the Gov. to
                    Message 9 of 24 , Jun 4, 2009
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                      I heard on the radio that Gov. Rick Perry has stated he will open up a special session.

                       

                      Is there a way we can send a note or something to the Gov. to request that the solar legislation be added to the session?  Is there already a petition or something that we can sign up for?

                       



                      Lourdes Aguinaco
                      Director of Community Relations
                      Akari Energy
                      510 Bering Drive, Ste. 300
                      Houston, TX 77057
                      Phone: (713) 869-4656
                      Fax: (713) 869-2656
                      Toll-Free: (866) 972-2656
                      www.AkariEnergy.com

                      --- On Wed, 6/3/09, Jim & Janet <jhd1@...> wrote:

                      From: Jim & Janet <jhd1@...>
                      Subject: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature
                      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                      Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 3:04 PM

                      Texas must have the guts, vision and leadership to explore something new and implement a long term policy strategy.  To do so will take a collaborative approach across industries, educational institutions, government, non-profits and citizens. 
                       
                       
                      While a lot of belated insight has been presented on this site since the end of the regular session, it fails to address the true underlying reason that the renewable legislative package that was so carefully crafted, and compromised on, failed. It could be blamed on the voter ID skirmish or any number of other distractions that occurred during the 2009 session, as well as the 2007 and the 2005 sessions.
                      During the 2007 session, one where I and dozens of other TREIA members and renewable energy advocates and supporters, had converged on the State Capitol, spent days visiting legislators and their staff, at the Capitol and in less formal settings, began optimistically promoting the final version of what seemed like a well balanced and compromised package of pro-renewable energy legislation.
                      After I returned to Fort Worth and my usual routine, I was contacted by a senior reporter from the Fort Worth Star Telegram and asked my professional perspective on some issue or another involving renewable energy. After answering the reporters question to his satisfaction, I mentioned the just completed "blitz" by TREIA and its legions of RE supporters at the Capitol. [I can use spin as well as the next guy.]
                      I mentioned that I was frustrated and alarmed by the news article I had seen in the ST weeks before stating that TXU had in the neighborhood of 60 paid lobbyists at the Capitol that session. [Recall that this was the same timeframe during which TXU was pushing for the approval of the licensing of 11 new coal-burning power plants in Texas. Recall too that the Governor fully supported fast-tracking the bill to approve them before new EPA restrictions kicked in.]
                      The reporter said, and I paraphrase; Jim TXU has currently got over 120 registered lobbyists at the Capitol.
                      It suddenly became clear why, during that same TREIA blitz when someone asked if RPS legislation was included in the package of bills we were supporting and promoting, we were told that, again paraphrasing, the issue of the RPS should not even be mentioned during the legislative session because it would never see the light of day.
                      The lobbying industry clearly understands the philosophy behind the bumper sticker that says "America doesn't need a third party-America needs a second party".
                      There is a "3rd branch" of the legislature, the special interest lobby, which is so powerful, so well organized and well funded that their demands on legislators are almost without fail, supported over the wishes of their constituents. These well paid representatives of special interests will attempt to obstruct a bill from receiving support to carry it and discourage co-signers. Should that fail and a bill come about as proposed, a contingency plan would be in place. Committees would be influenced in advance to keep certain legislative subsets out of bills that otherwise would be approved.
                      If that failed to stop a measure from moving ahead, severe steps may have to be implemented. And you can bet those Plan Bs and Plan Cs are in place long before the opening gavel drops.
                      Voter ID was a perfect example of this strategy. Opponents used chubbing to delay passage of the bill while supporters blocked the option to reschedule votes on other bills that would otherwise die in the standoff. While this game of chicken was purely along political party lines, Legislators had no qualms about refusing to compromise and committing devastating acts of near treason to gain their political ends.
                      Now\, think back several weeks to the scandal in the British Parliament where it was discovered that members were abusing their financial privileges. That nation was outraged. Thousands protested in front of their local Parliament buildings and confronted members at their homes and offices demanding their resignation. It worked.
                      Years ago, French farmers drove their tractors and blocked major roads in downtown Paris to protest government actions against farmers. Loads of manure were dumped on the capitol steps to show their disgust. The farmers got what they wanted.
                      What happens in the US when citizens are outraged at politicians? We read all the blogs and emails we agree with then go back to stare at the television to be informed what the official facts are. And by the 2011 legislative session, all but a handful of activists will have forgotten about their disdain generated during this session and the cycle will be repeated.
                      Your Legislator lives, and maintains an office, in your local district. Is it too much trouble to walk into that office and tell the Legislator or their staff lackeys exactly how disgusted you are with their behavior? Can you announce angrily that you regret voting for them (even if you didn't) because of their support of corrupted legislative policies? Can you demand that they push for a special session to address the important bills of which they deliberately blocked passage?
                      You could but why bother. TREIA, Union of Concerned Scientists, SEED Coalition, Public Citizen, ACEEE and all those other big non-profit groups will take care of it. After all you sent them a contribution last year, what else do they expect you to do. Or, I wrote a letter to my legislator or I signed an online petition in support of something once. If you think that simply voting will change things, go back and read the bumper sticker.
                      Get mad, stay mad, organize, protest, confront the businesses that hire the lobbyists and publically expose and boycott them. Publically oppose politicians who worked against the best interest of the public good which is most all of them. Demand that local politicians support renewable energy (are you listening Southlake?) Get "important" people angry with you, that's the only way to make them remember and respect you. Smitty excels at this tactic.
                      Join two or three of the above named organizations and go to their meetings and events. When you look at how long and hard they work promoting the public good, you will be amazed and hopefully motivated to join in their largely unrecognized effort.
                      Change won't happen until tens of thousands of Americans get mad enough to make it happen. Our elected public servants won't do it for us unless they are pressured to do it.
                      Jim Duncan
                       
                      Texas must have the guts, vision and leadership to explore something new and implement a long term policy strategy.  To do so will take a collaborative approach across industries, educational institutions, government, non-profits and citizens. 
                       
                       
                       
                       


                      Andrew:

                      I take your comment to heart – I do know that TREIA has done a lot of work on renewables.  My experience, however at trying to get involved with TREIA around solar is that they are horribly resistant to change, do not study other solutions and for the last 10 years, have proposed the same solar solution, session after session to the Texas legislature, namely “non-wind.”  When I tried to dialogue with them on the in-efficacy of this policy for solar, I was basically silenced.  They are not inclusive of new people, new ideas and new studies. 

                      I do not propose to have the solutions, but I did an enormous amount of research on solar policy for my master’s thesis on solar policy at UH law.  I discovered that in Europe and elsewhere there are 20 year studies analyzing and comparing which policies work for solar, which do not and why.  The results of those studies are extremely conclusive.  Texas is a perfect example of the failure of a Renewable Portfolio Standard to deploy solar.  TREIA refuses to consider such studies.

                      I am critical of how we in Texas generally approach solar, especially our legislature and current governor.  Governor Perry frequently addresses groups claiming that “ Texas is number one in the country in wind and number two in solar.”  (TREIA has published his comment as well.)  While the first part of his statement is true, the second, in the context of generation from renewables is dead wrong.  Texas generates 99.9% of renewable energy from wind alone.  The Texas resource for solar may be second in the country, but its generation with that resource is just about last.  The Texas legislature takes an ineffective shot-gun approach to addressing solar.

                      Texas as a state needs to study the experience of other states and other countries in implementing solar.   Texas needs to formulate a cohesive, long term policy for solar if it wants to truly bring solar industry and generation to Texas .  For the next legislative session, Texas should not rely on the Federal Government to present the solar solutions; Texas must have the guts, vision and leadership to explore something new and implement a long term policy strategy.  To do so will take a collaborative approach across industries, educational institutions, government, non-profits and citizens.   

                      Tyra


                      From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Andrew McCalla
                      Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 6:57 AM
                      To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                      Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature




                      Tyra and Stephen,

                      On this point you are both way off the mark. 

                      I can personally vouch and account for TREIA’s efforts at this most recent legislative session, if not over the period of its existence.  While not focused exclusively on solar legislation (it is a Renewable Energy trade association, and despite my solar bias, there are others), TREIA spent more time than you can possibly imagine (clearly) on educating, strategizing, organizing, and supporting decision makers and action takers who were involved with these now ill-fated bills.

                      Andrew H. McCalla
                      CEO


                      Meridian Solar, Inc. (TECL:24461)
                      4109 Todd Lane, Suite 900

                      Austin , TX 78744

                      P: 512.448.0055 ext. 103
                      D: 512.410.3872
                      F: 512.448.0045
                      andrew@meridiansola r.com
                      www.meridiansolar. com




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                      From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Tyra Rankin
                      Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 12:56 PM
                      To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                      Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature





                      Thank you Steven, for having the courage to speak the truth.  I thought I was alone in recognizing that TREIA was not interested in supporting solar for Texas . 

                      Que Lastima, indeed… everyone looses.

                      Tyra


                      From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Steven Shepard
                      Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 11:02 AM
                      To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                      Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature






                      Thanks for the update.
                      Another shot in the teeth for renewable energy here in Texas . 
                      Que lastima.

                      Thanks ASES and TREIA for throwing your entire support behind Texas big wind projects, large energy corporations, utility interests and generally neglecting solar and small wind.    We can see the fruits of your labor and the lack of support for renewable energy dealers across the state.  Lets see if the utilities will continue their donations to you so they can use your non-profit status as a front for their bogus green interests.  I guess grass roots support for renewable energy may be necessary after all.

                      And the game goes on and on.  The band is playing while the ship sinks.
                      Hey, but I'm not bitter.


                      From: Jim & Janet <jhd1@earthlink. net>
                      To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                      Sent: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 9:35:02 AM
                      Subject: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

                      ----- Original Message -----

                      Sent: Monday, June 01, 2009 11:52 PM

                      Subject: [hreg] Solar energy legislation in the Texas legislature

                      I assume that useful solar energy legislation died in the last session. Am I correct?

                      Thanks, Bill S

                      .

                      Here's the reply via NTREG

                      ************ ********* ********* *******

                      > --- On Tue, 6/2/09, Jason Coffman wrote:
                      > So what ever happened here? From what I can see,
                      > this was never voted on. Was it killed in committee?
                      > I see it went to committee on 5/30, but I don't see a
                      > vote or anything that was supposed to happen on 5/31.

                      Jason and everyone,

                      This is a long reply, but well worth reading....
                      At the moment, it's bad news, but may not be permanently so.
                      This is a complicated situation. I was hoping to wait a few more days before reporting on the outcome, because there's a microscopic glimmer of hope it could yet change.
                      However .. since you've asked .. here's where we stand:
                      You're correct. The key solar bills we were watching never came up for a final vote, killing them (for now).
                      Of 208 pieces of legislation introduced in the 2009 session dealing with solar and/or renewables in some form, only one made it to Governor Perry's desk -- a bill allowing homeowners to finance the purchase of solar energy equipment through the state, then pay for their purchase over the next 20 years by an increase in their property tax. With no other incentives, it may be difficult to motivate people to use this program when the up-front cost is so high.
                      Now for the [possibly] good news.
                      Many vital legislative actions also failed. Case in point: the vote to continue the Department of Transportation didn't happen.
                      Legislation failed that would keep the Texas Dept of Transportation funded. The DOT will essentially be shut down if lawmakers don’t vote to keep it funded. That alone virtually guarantees a special session.
                      Now then, Governor Perry is the only person with the authority to call a special session.
                      He is also the only one who can set the agenda for the special session.
                      *IF* he does call a special session, and it's a virtual certainty he will (if only to address the DOT situation at the moment), it opens the door for an opportunity to influence him to include other bills, such as solar. It also opens the door for him to include the voter ID bill, which is at the very heart of all the dissention in the first place.

                      Many "IFs" here.

                      *IF* Governor Perry calls a special session...

                      *IF* he can be persuaded to include the solar bills in that session...

                      *IF* the bills get consideration in that special session...

                      *IF* the outcome is positive ...

                      Only then will we stand a chance to see the solar bills become law.
                      There are *many* people and organizations who will be working on behalf of solar energy to get the key "solar" bills included in if/when Governor Perry calls a special legislative session. These are folks you may have heard mentioned ... such as the Texas Solar Energy Industries Association, the Texas Solar Energy Society .. Environment Texas .. and many others.
                      Realize too solar is one of possibly dozens of issues, all of which will have advocates and detractors pushing for, or against inclusion in a special session .. *IF* one is called.
                      Will it happen? I don't know. All we can do is wait. If Gov Perry *does* call a special session, we can try again this summer to influence our legislators. If not, it'll be two more years.
                      In closing, I'd like to add a comment I feel is indicative of what may be the mindset of at least SOME of our legislators:
                      I spoke with an aide in Representative Terri Hodge's office a few days ago, during the waning days of this session. She (the aide) told me Rep Hodges was not in favor of the solar bills.
                      I asked "Why?".
                      Her aid told me she opposed the solar bills "because it would raise the cost of electricity to residential customers to finance the equipment".
                      When I asked the aide if she knew how much it would raise a monthly residential bill, she admitted she didn't know. So I told her - only 20 cents a month. The aide's reaction? "Is that all?". Apparently Rep Hodge was also under the impression the increase would be large, but by then it was too late.
                      Representative Hodge had been told it would raise electric bills. Apparently she hadn't been told how little the increase would be. Less than a penny a day.
                      I have to believe this is indicative how other legislators' understanding of the situation must be.
                      Energy is a complicated issue. One of the staunchest opponents to the solar bills is Representative Sylvester Turner of Houston .
                      Why? I don't know.
                      In closing .. the solar bills didn't die because they were bad bills. In fact, they passed the Senate on overwhelmingly supportive vote counts. 26 to 4 in one case. 27 to 3 in the other (if memory serves correctly.) They came out of committee with a unanimous vote in one case .. and only one member voting in opposition in the other. The support was there.
                      So why did the solar bills (like so MANY other bills) .. fail?
                      The solar bills failed to become law because our elected officials reverted to partisan bickering over one bill. "Voter ID." Rather than set the ID issue aside and deal with other legislation .. such as solar .. it became a "prevail at all cost with my point of view" no matter what the cost. Good legislation became the victim in the process.
                      I've included three links below to news articles with additional detail on the overall outcome.
                      My suggestion: Print them all. Use them for "bathroom" reading material. It's enough to make you sick.

                      http://greeninc. blogs.nytimes. com/2009/ 06/01/solar- push-in-texas- fails/
                      Same link: http://tinyurl. com/lhdusv

                      http://blogs. wsj.com/environm entalcapital/ 2009/06/01/ texas-kills- solar-bill- on-last-minute- motion/
                      Same link: http://tinyurl. com/kl8hfr

                      http://www.chron. com/disp/ story.mpl/ hotstories/ 6453502.html
                      Same link: http://tinyurl. com/maxfk9

                      Will keep you posted.

                      Dan

                      P.S. If Yahoo messes up any of the long links above, use the "Tiny URL" link I've provided. It's the same link as each of the originals, just shorter.




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