Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Text of Governor Perry’ s Remarks at Dedication of Desert Sky Wind Farm

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Friday, May 03, 2002  •  Speech

(Note: Governor Perry frequently deviates from prepared text.)

Thank you Lynn.  I am honored to be joined today by my friends from San Antonio: Senator Madla and Representatives Longoria and McClendon.  It’s good to also see the hometown representative, my friend Pete Gallego.

This is a great day.  Once again Texas is demonstrating no state is more committed to developing renewable sources of energy.

Wind power has existed as long before we discovered the first patch of oil, but only now are we beginning to harness its great energy potential.

The Clear Sky Wind Project, with 107 newly built 1.5 megawatt turbines, will provide enough electricity to serve 134,000 Texans.

By the end of 2003, across Texas we expect to be generating 1,771 megawatts of power with wind energy.

City Public Service in San Antonio, with more than a half-million electricity customers, is making sure the people of San Antonio are doing their part to encourage the development of renewable energy by agreeing to receive power generated here at Indian Mesa through wind energy technology.

As someone who grew up in West Texas, I can vouch first-hand for the fact that there is great wind potential out here.

By harnessing the energy potential of wind, we can provide Texans a form of energy that is green, clean and easily renewable.

Consider the alternative to this form of clean energy.  To generate the same amount of electricity with oil, we would have to burn 866,000 barrels.

These wind turbines save the atmosphere from being exposed to 790 million pounds of carbon dioxide, and 4.2 million pounds of sulfur dioxide.

Wind power provides Texans clean, affordable energy, which is good for consumers, and good for the environment.

This form of technology is the fastest growing source of energy in the world.  In Texas, because of Senate Bill 7, which I was glad to support in 1999, we are taking the lead in pursuing renewable energy projects.

In fact, last year Texas added more wind power capacity than the entire nation had built in any prior year!

When you consider what we have achieved in the last couple of years, we are on the fast track to both a better environment, and an abundant supply of renewable forms of energy.

In addition to the clean energy incentives contained in Senate Bill 7, it contained mandatory reductions in sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide from power plants, including grandfathered power plants.  Last session, I was proud to sign legislation closing the loophole for all grandfathered industrial sources.

And with the passage of an historic pollution reduction plan, we are on course to achieve ozone emissions reductions of 55 percent in Dallas/Fort Worth, and 75 percent in Houston over the next few years.

It strikes me as ironic that just over 75 years ago the first oil field west of the Pecos River was discovered by Marathon – the Yates Oil Field.  Today, just a few miles down the road, the community of Iraan is once again taking the lead with a different form of energy from a source we have known about as long as people have lived in these parts – wind energy.

I want to commend American Electric Power for having the foresight to invest in this clean technology.  I also want to commend the leaders of San Antonio for making a stand for both your citizen’s energy needs, and the environment.

As we find new sources of power, and generate more power, clearly ERCOT must work to ensure we add the transmission capacity needed to get that power to Texas consumers.  In fact, yesterday I sent a letter to ERCOT asking them to make transmission capacity in West Texas an important priority.

Wind power is good for Texas…and it is a resource for which we have a vast and unending supply.

Texas should continue to explore the potential of wind energy as we look to meet the needs of our growing population.  Thank you.

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