TX Groups to Politicians: "Break Up with Fossil Fuels"
Monday, February 14, 2022
A campaign to pressure political candidates to forgo contributions from fossil-fuel interests is gaining steam in Texas. Environmental advocates want anyone seeking public office to sign the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, which means they would refuse to accept contributions of more than $200 from fossil-fuel companies.
Corey Troiani, senior campaign strategy director at the Texas Campaign for the Environment Fund, said after last February's winter storm caused the Texas power grid to fail, voters deserve transparency from candidates.
"They did not work to fix our grid in any meaningful way," Troiani asserted. "What we found is that a lot of those lawmakers have interests in the fossil-fuel industry."
The grid collapse due to Winter Storm Uri knocked out power to millions of homes and businesses for days and contributed to the deaths of more than 200 Texans. Today is the first day of early voting for the March 1 Texas primary election.
State lawmakers passed legislation last year to address the grid, but Troiani argued it mostly failed to hold natural-gas facilities accountable. To him, it indicates there is too much fossil-fuel influence in state politics.
"Politicians don't just do things because they're the right thing to do," Troiani observed. "Oftentimes, they spend a lot more time with special-interest groups and industry leaders than they do ordinary people. And that's why we've got to all collectively raise our voices and put pressure on them."
Troiani believes Texas needs to dial back oil and gas drilling near sensitive ecosystems like the Texas Gulf and instead, support a future providing clean-energy jobs.
"And we need to be investing a lot more into our economy and our workforce to working jobs that are safer for them and safer for our future, and better for the overall economy," Troiani contended.
He added several candidates already have committed to refusing large donations from the oil, gas and coal industries, but the group would like to see the governor, lieutenant governor and railroad commissioner do the same.
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