This story was originally published by The Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
News that a Texas city is to be powered by 100-percent renewable energy sparked surprise in an oil-obsessed, Republican-dominated state where fossil fuels are king and climate change activists were described as “the equivalent of the flat-earthers” by U.S. Senator and GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz.
“I was called an Al Gore clone, a tree hugger,” says Jim Briggs, interim city manager of Georgetown, a community of about 50,000 people some 25 miles north of Austin.
Briggs, who was a key player in Georgetown’s decision to become the first city in the Lone Star State to be powered by 100-percent renewable energy, has worked for the city for 30 years. He wears a belt with shiny, silver decorations and a gold ring with a lone star motif, and is keen to point out that he is not some kind of California-style eco-warrior with a liberal agenda. In fact, he is a staunchly Texan pragmatist.
“I’m probably the furthest thing from an Al Gore clone you could find,” he says. “We didn’t do this to save the world — we did this to get a competiti... Read more