Environment Texas Research and Policy Center
For more than a century, Texas’ big, bold spirit has been symbolized by the oil industry. The story of Big Oil in Texas is seen by people around the world as one of risky prospecting, big new discoveries and swashbuckling business leaders.
Today, fossil fuels are beginning to fade into the past. People around the country and around the world are recognizing that it is simply too damaging to our climate, our health and our environment to continue to burn oil and gas the way we have for the last 100 years.
It is time for Texas to embrace a different bold vision of the future – the vision of a state powered by the sun shining upon our communities and the wind blowing across our plains.
Electric vehicles can help make that vision a reality.
Electric vehicles, powered by clean, renewable energy, have become an accessible and affordable alternative to traditional gas-guzzling vehicles, a development which will only accelerate following the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This law includes $7.5 billion for creating a network of EV charging stations, as well as a number of competitive grant programs for EV research and adaptation. And while federal and state policies have made strides in moving the nation toward clean transportation, local governments have a key role to play in bringing change to their own communities.
Some Texas communities have already taken the lead by adopting 100% electric vehicle targets for municipal fleets and transitioning their transit buses and school buses to electricity. Many have also worked to encourage residents to make the switch by providing free public charging stations, educating their communities on EV rebates and funding opportunities, and updating their zoning ordinances and building codes to encourage EV parking and charging infrastructure.
The actions of leading EV communities around the state and around the country provide examples for other Texas communities to follow. This toolkit draws from their experiences and provides ideas for local governments on how to accelerate the deployment of electric transportation on our roads. By adopting these and other policies, local governments can have the biggest possible impact on reducing emissions and redefine Texas as the state that’s big on clean transportation.