Letter to San Antonio City Council in support of climate resilience

Staff | TPIN
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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. 

Sincerely,

Luke Metzger

Executive Director, Environment Texas

 

DeeDee Belmares

Climate Justice Organizer, Public Citizen

 

Annalisa Peace

Executive Director, Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance

 

Christopher Mayorga

Organizer, Climate Justice San Antonio

 

Cyrus Reed

Conservation Director, Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club

 

Lexy Garcia

Senior Regional Field Coordinator, Texas Rising San Antonio Chapters

 

Alex Birnel

Advocacy Director, MOVE Texas 

 

Diana Lopez

Executive Director, Southwest Workers Union

 

David Sanchez

Texas State Director, NextGen America

 

Colin Leyden

Texas Political Director, Environmental Defense Fund

 

Stefania Tomaskovic

Director, Coalition for Environment, Equity and Resilience

 

State Senator Roland Gutierrez

Jackie Bastard

Deputy Director, Jolt Action

 

Luis Figueroa

Legislative and Policy Director, Every Texan

 

Ken Flippin

Policy Consultant, US Green Building Council Texas Chapter  

 

Sunrise SA

 

We Power SA

Steering Committee, San Antonio DSA

 

 

 

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Authors

Luke Metzger

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 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.

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