Tuesday, June 2, 2009

No Saudia Arabia of Solar

State Rep. David Swinford, R-Dumas, is fond of calling the Panhandle the Saudia Arabia of wind for its potential to pump out the power. However, his bills to promote solar energy died this legislative session as did a companion bill in the Senate.

It's not as big as not renewing transportation department (sure to be revisited), but the legislators never put the solar bills up for final votes.

Swinford proposed in one bill to create a fund for rebates to homeowners installing solar by charging electric customers a small fee. The other bill would have set mandates for developing "emerging renewable energy." That means anything other than utility-scale wind farms. The mandate called for adding 3,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020. That would have been enough to power about one million average homes.

His bills join the ban on trans fat in restaurants on the dead bill list. They just couldn't get the votes the successful bill to require training and certification of laser hair-removal technicians.

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