Local gas utilities aggressively sought, with some success, to prevent at least two Texas cities from adopting plans to eliminate fossil fuels from their heat and electricity grids, according to reporting by Floodlight, a partnership of the Guardian and Texas observer and San Antonio Report. The utilities’ interventions in Austin and San Antonio reflect a broader effort by the gas industry to stymie electrification efforts needed to cut fossil fuel use and thus greenhouse gas pollution.
In Austin, Texas Gas pushed through revisions to the city’s plan, including eliminating building electrification goals, so successfully that that city is now going back to its original plan after backlash to the changes. In San Antonio, CPS Energy spent $650,000 to influence the city’s goal of reaching net-zero carbon pollution by 2050, including putting its preferred consulting firm in charge, and successfully weakened the plan so that the city will no longer be carbon neutral by 2050. (The Guardian/Floodlight, Texas Observer and San Antonio Report)