For my book, I interviewed Texan Republicans, Democrats, oil guys + clean energy pioneers. Texas was once leading in wind energy, with GOP support. Now we get lies, from the Gov on down on renewables. What happened?

Lessons from Short Circuiting Policy 🧵

Texas' challenges are not from "learning too many renewable energy lessons from California.” - Rep. Crenshaw

Texas passed its first renewable energy target in 1999, 3 years before California. The law was signed by, Gov. George W. Bush — you may recall he’s a Republican.
Gov. Bush was so proud of Texas’ leadership on wind energy, that he campaigned on it when running for President in 2000.

The "bill he signed in 1999 will make Texas the country’s largest market for renewable energy by 2009."
In 2005, Texas passed another big wind energy law, which included $7 billion for transmission.

It was sponsored by Republican state Senator Troy Fraser and signed by Republican Gov. Rick Perry.
With Gov. Abbott going on TV this week and lying, blaming the boogeyman “Green New Deal” and wind turbines for Texas’ current crisis, GOP leadership on renewables feels like ancient history.

What happened over the past 15 years?
Why did the Republican Party turn away from renewables? I tackle this in Short Circuiting Policy. Fossil fuel interest groups began actively opposing clean power because it threatened their financial interests. They drove polarization targeting both GOP elites and the public.
Fossil fuel interests they are extremely big donors to the Republican party.

They maintain GOP discipline by threatening Republicans who support renewables or climate action with lost money and primary challengers. Over time, this shifts the party.
Since the public listens to leaders who share their party affiliation, the GOP shifts against renewables circa 2009 also led to polarization among everyday Republicans.

We might expect a similar result after the lies perpetuated over the past week.
There are lessons for Texas from California. But it’s not about renewables. It’s about the political effects of blackouts.

In the early 2000s, California faced severe power outages. As a result, Gov. Gray Davis lost a recall election. If I were Gov. Abbott, I'd be worried.
Thank you for coming to my tweet-talk.

If you enjoyed this thread, check out my book, Short Circuiting Policy!

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