September 14, 2022
San Antonio City Council
100 Military Plaza
San Antonio, TX 78205
Dear Mayor and Council Members,
We write today in strong support of Council Member Mario Bravo’s proposal to use additional revenue from CPS Energy to help low income customers, reduce urban heat, and increase climate resiliency.
San Antonio is locked in a vicious cycle from climate change. As temperatures rise, our air conditioners have to work harder, drawing more electricity from our power plants, which in turn pump out more of the greenhouse gasses responsible for global warming. And as San Antonioans use more electricity, our bills go up.
Council Member Bravo’s proposal is a great opportunity to help break the cycle and move San Antonio toward a safer, cleaner, more affordable future. Recently the city council voted to continue CPS Energy’s STEP programs for another five years at $70 million per year but many of our organizations believed more could have been done and this proposal will help ensure that more is done to help CPS Energy customers. The SA Climate Ready Plan lays out the path toward that future, but it’s up to Council to take big steps to move us along. Bravo’s proposal smartly includes:
- $7.5 million to provide utility bill assistance for low income customers,
- $8.5 million to convert local buildings into solar powered community resilience centers to serve as heating or cooling centers during severe weather events like Winter Storm Uri,
- $13 million in residential weatherization and efficiency upgrades to lower electric bills and reduce use of polluting power plants,
- $13 million to fight deadly urban heat through a tree planting campaign
- $8 million to fund the first year of Council Member Ana Sandoval’s proposed Dedicated Resiliency, Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Fund, which will help leverage new federal funds made available by the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
We understand that there are other worthy uses of this revenue from CPS Energy and you have to make some tough choices, but we’re convinced that Council Member Bravo’s proposal makes smart, strategic investments that will pay dividends to the community for many years to come.
Executive Director, Environment Texas
Climate Justice Organizer, Public Citizen
Executive Director, Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance
Organizer, Climate Justice San Antonio
Conservation Director, Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club
Senior Regional Field Coordinator, Texas Rising San Antonio Chapters
Advocacy Director, MOVE Texas
Executive Director, Southwest Workers Union
Texas State Director, NextGen America
Texas Political Director, Environmental Defense Fund
Director, Coalition for Environment, Equity and Resilience
State Senator Roland Gutierrez
Deputy Director, Jolt Action
Legislative and Policy Director, Every Texan
Policy Consultant, US Green Building Council Texas Chapter
We Power SA
Steering Committee, San Antonio DSA
Executive Director, Environment Texas
As the executive director of Environment Texas, Luke is a leading voice in the state for clean air, clean water, clean energy and open space. Luke has led successful campaigns to win permanent protection for the Christmas Mountains of Big Bend; to compel Exxon, Shell and Chevron Phillips to cut air pollution at three Texas refineries and chemical plants; and to boost funding for water conservation, renewable energy and state parks. The San Antonio Current has called Luke "long one of the most energetic and dedicated defenders of environmental issues in the state." He has been named one of the "Top Lobbyists for Causes" by Capitol Inside, received the President's Award from the Texas Recreation and Parks Society for his work to protect Texas parks, and was chosen for the inaugural class of "Next Generation Fellows" by the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at UT Austin. Luke, his wife, son and daughters are working to visit every state park in Texas.