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Renewables Good for Texas: The Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental activist organization, has issued a report stating that Texas would enjoy substantial economic benefits from the creation of a national renewable electricity standard a requirement that electric utilities supply a set percentage of their power from renewable, clean sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, and bioenergy. The UCS also conducted similar studies on 11 other states.
Texas is considered a potential major player in the renewables sector, but the growth of the industry has been fitful at best West Texas wind companies, in particular, have suffered from lack of infrastructure to deliver the power they produce, and tax credits the industry has relied upon have been stalled in Congress. The report, available at www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy, claims that under a 20% standard, Texas would increase its total homegrown renewable power to over 25,900 megawatts by 2020, providing 23% of the state's electricity sales and reducing reliance on coal-fired plants, a major pollution source in Texas. The study also predicts the creation of 48,800 new jobs related to the construction and maintenance of renewables facilities, especially in rural areas. The study warns that the lower the national standard, the fewer the benefits will be.