Ambitious Proposal Reflects the Urgency of the Climate Crisis, Will Create Clean Jobs
EL PASO, Texas – Approval of the proposed El Paso climate charter would make this border city a leader in local climate action among other large cities in Texas, Public Citizen said today in announcing its endorsement of the May 6 ballot measure.
“What El Paso is trying to do is inspiring,” said Kaiba White, energy policy and outreach specialist with the Texas office of Public Citizen. “Meeting this urgent challenge of limiting climate change requires swift action. El Paso’s climate charter recognizes that choices at the local level are important. Fossil fuel interests still have too much power in the Texas Capitol. It falls to cities to do their part to address the crisis. There is no other choice.”
Public Citizen has worked with advocates, community members and local officials to adopt climate action plans in other large Texas cities like Austin, San Antonio and Dallas. The El Paso proposal, on the ballot as Proposition K, stands out because it would amend the city charter to include clear goals, directives, and, critically, funding.
This vital charter provision directs the city to set targets for creating clean jobs – for example, in the renewable energy industry – that advance the charter’s goals. The wind and solar industries have already created tens of thousands of jobs in Texas, with many more projected. A recent El Paso Chamber of Commerce analysis fails to recognize that renewable energy is a boon for Texans economically and environmentally.
The charter would require the city to study the feasibility of converting El Paso Electric into municipal ownership, giving El Pasoans a much more significant say in how the city is powered. Currently, private investors own El Paso Electric.
“El Paso is located where three states and two countries meet,” said Crystal Moran, an organizer with Sunrise El Paso. “Passing this climate charter would make our community a leader in climate action and, we hope, provide a blueprint for other communities that wish to step up and do their part to address this challenge.”
The early voting period for the May 6 election starts Monday, April 24.
More information about the climate charter is available here.