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Articles by Tom Dart

Tom Dart is a Houston-based freelance journalist. Before moving to Texas he was a soccer reporter, editor, and columnist for The Times in London, also covering MLB and the NFL.

Featured Article

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