Energy has been the lifeblood in Texas for years. As a well-established leader in oil and gas production, the Lone Star State also recently became the nation’s leading generator of wind power. Continuing in that tradition, many Texas residents also want to see the state become the leader in solar, biomass, natural gas and other sources of nontraditional power.

In February, representatives from a cross-section of social, economic and academic interests announced the formal launch of the new Texas Clean Energy Coalition. It will promote policies and programs that help advance the state’s growing clean-energy industries, a goal that will not only help solidify the state’s leadership status but also create thousands of new jobs.

The coalition will promote investment in energy-efficiency, renewable-energy development, expanded use of natural gas, clean-energy technologies, advanced fuels, and programs for homes and businesses. It boasts a diverse membership, with representatives from business and economic development groups, faith-based organizations, the Latino and African-American communities, labor and academia.

To achieve its ultimate objective, the group has established several goals. They include educating Texans about clean energy, supporting clean-energy policies, engaging new voices and shifting the conversation to competitiveness and job creation in the new energy economy, and support for innovation in the clean-energy sector.

The coalition believes Texas carries a huge advantage in expanding its clean-energy industries, with the abundance of technical, financial and educational expertise related to energy exploration and production.
The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation awarded a large endowment to the coalition for its launch. Mitchell, the founder of Mitchell Energy & Development, was a pioneer in the state’s natural gas industry who helped North Texas become the nation’s leader in gas production.