I think we’re accustomed to rolling many things in the valley, but truly, we are not accustomed to rolling blackouts. For those of you who roll too much of the other stuff, a rolling blackout is a term coined by utility companies who intentionally and systematically turn off power in certain areas of their grid system, so that the entire grid system does not black out. Think about that the next time you’re soul searching online at 3AM! By the year 2022 you will no longer be able to refer to yourself as “LordFappinator666” for you will have become a RL /b/tard. This is because right now our back up power reserve is currently at 14% but will reach -.8% by the year 2022 (that came from the mouth of Jeff Neves, the Project Developer at American Shoreline Inc.) . In other words, “it’s like the energy on our like, grid that like we have and like by like the year 2022 we’re not going to have like, a lot. So like, they’re going to like, start turning off the power and stuff.”
Why will you have become a RL /b/tard? This is because you refused to take action when you had the opportunity to. Right now there’s this tax subsidy called the Production Tax Credit (AKA, the PTC) that is set to expire on December 31st. This subsidy helps renewable energy, such as wind, get off of its feet and compete with oil and coal. Not only does it help wind to get onto its feet and level the “energy playing field”, it balances out our energy spectrum. Which means we will have more “back up energy” to rely on, and that means, you, good sir, can still be LordFappinator666 at 3AM in the year 2022!
Texas is known as the Wind Giant in the United States. Honestly, we’re number one at lots of things, not all of them positive, but being a Wind Giant, that’s something we can be proud of. It is apparent que hay pedo con el mundo. Remember that crazy hail storm we experienced in March? Three feet of hail on the road, roofs destroyed, some of our cars were totaled…when was the last time something like that happened in the valley? Climate change is real. We’re beginning to experience it with this sporadic weather. It is important that we begin to actualize this transformational time in history as an important one. We are at an intersection in this country, and that intersection is climate change. We must decide what we are going to do, and we must find the will to work harder and more efficiently towards salvaging our economy and our environment.
In Texas, we need to move past the idea that “real Texans” dig and drill. Despite our ethnic background, a common trait I have noticed in Texans is our willingness to wake up early and work hard until sundown. The wind industry provides work for 7,000 fellow Texans, and to 75,000 fellow Americans. Should the PTC expire, half of those jobs are expected to be lost. Having just barely U-turned from the recession, jobs are very important to those of us who are fortunate enough to have one. We need to realize that we have a voice, and we need to use it. We need to tell congress to put politics aside, and to put jobs first. The coal and oil industry are not going to go out without a tantrum, and we my friends, are in the belly of the beast here in Texas.
(image: which wolf wins? The one you feed)
I recently attended SXSW Eco in Austin, Texas. While I was there I listened to Senator Byron Dorgan speak, and he said something that really opened my eyes (yes, I may just be an ingrate). He was talking about how human curiosity and ingenuity led us to put a vehicle on mars. “We think the vehicle on mars is usual, it should take our breath away,” he said. If we have the ingenuity and the willingness that drove us to view the sunset on mars (recently), then surely we have the capability to alter the course of our future. We do have the ability to change the world, to quote Bukowski, “You begin saving the world by saving one person at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.”
According to medicine.net (http://www.medicinenet.com/asthma_pictures_slideshow_2012/article.htm), McAllen, Texas ranks as number nine in the top ten worst cities in the United states to have Asthma in, “In the border town of McAllen, Texas, the problem is access to treatment. Compared to other cities, more people lack insurance and need “rescue” medications for asthma that is not well-controlled. McAllen is also one of the poorest cities in the country. High poverty is linked to higher rates of asthma, and poverty is one of the elements included in the rankings.” Is it unconscionable that we do not care enough about our fellow neighbors to strive for a better environment? We may be the poorest city in the United States, and that may lead to a lot of misconceptions about the Hispanic culture, but I do believe we have the ability to prove those misconceptions wrong. I think if we actively work together we can gradually make the valley a healthier place to reside in, all around. Will it be easy? El-oh-el….nambre. Pero si se puede!
So what can we do now? In regards to the Production Tax Credit, you can utilize the internet to your advantage. The power of social media is phenomenal. Feel free to comment on the Facebook pages of Blake Farenthold (hyperlink) and Francisco “Quico” Canseco (hyperlink). There is also a facebook page Wind Works for Texas (hyperlink) that will continue to update on the status of the PTC. It is anticipated that congress will decide during the “lame duck session (which will occur during November) so you have a week or two to really spam them! If you’d like to do a photo petition on behalf of the Sierra club, feel free to contact us for more information. If you attend UTPA the Environmental Awareness Club(hyperlink) is where the hubbub is at! If you do not, there’s also the Lower Rio Grande Valley Sierra club(hyperlink) (they meet up once a month, all over the valley) you can get involved with.
Get outraged and find some goddamn inspiration. We’re in this together now.