The conservative case for clean energy and climate security action in Texas | Opinion

Millions of Texans are paying a hefty price for the lack of security energy

Larry Linenschmidt

Despite partisan politics, there's a strong synergy between conservation efforts, carbon emissions reduction, and conservative principles. I am an advocate of traditional conservative policies 鈥 from balanced budgets and eliminating deficits in government, to personal responsibility and social policies which value life though clean air, water and energy. I have supported conservative candidates throughout my life beginning with serving as part of Governor Bill Clements' election campaign staff.

Additionally, as a native Texan and ministry leader for 18 years, my love for this state and my faith drive me to leave the world in better condition than I found it鈥攁s I believe is the case for millions of Texans. We must continue to reduce greenhouse gases and promote technology that aids this mission to protect the natural, God-given beauty of our state and nation. To do that, we need smart, practical and bipartisan climate solutions from Washington to Texas.

Texas has always been a leader when it comes to developing the energy resources with which we have been blessed, which has increasingly鈥攁nd rightfully鈥攊ncluded renewables like wind and solar power. As America鈥檚 power grid faces rising demand, it is imperative that our congressional delegation, including Senator John Cornyn, find bipartisan solutions that support clean energy as part of an all-the-above energy strategy that will address conservation and emissions reduction efforts for a more sustainable future while making America more energy independent.

While climate change is a complex issue, understanding it comes down to the basic principle that greenhouse gas emissions released by human activity are the primary cause of global warming that's leading to climate change. The data supporting this is decidedly not partisan鈥斺攁nd has been on scientists' radar for many years. It is time for us to apply 21st聽century-solutions to this growing problem that threatens communities across Texas and the country.

Conservative and religious figures from Billy Graham to President Ronald Reagan have a long history of supporting conservation and environmental protection efforts. Rev. Graham called for us to be the 鈥渢rustees of God鈥檚 creation鈥 and said, 鈥渨e aren鈥檛 to abuse it or neglect it鈥. Whether the impetus lies in acting as good stewards of God鈥檚 creation or protecting our natural resources from the ravages of pollution, as President Reagan spoke of, conservatives have been active on these issues for generations鈥攁nd we must continue to lead the way in advancing policies that address carbon emissions and clean energy in a way that protects our people, our land, and our economy.

Lawmakers from Austin to Washington, D.C., must work together to advance pragmatic, bipartisan, fiscally sound solutions to the climate and energy challenges we face. Doing so will not only help us continue to protect and preserve our environment for generations, but will also help attract new businesses and industries to the state, which in turn will help create new jobs for hardworking Texans and strengthen local economies.

Investing in renewable energy, as well as new, emerging carbon-capture technologies, can help us support the growing need for energy in a way that benefits Texas communities. As it is, millions of Texans are already paying a hefty price for the lack of energy security, both through their wallets and with their health. We pay more for air conditioning due to our rising temperatures, we are experiencing more frequent extreme weather events that prevent families from keeping the lights on, and we are spending more due to congestion from outdated transmission lines.聽

Without a doubt, energy security and the need for more clean energy is now more important than ever. We need lawmakers to continue supporting and advancing bipartisan solutions that help reduce emissions and increase our clean energy capabilities, while protecting our environment, creating jobs and powering a stronger, more sustainable economy.

Linenschmidt is a native Texan, activist, and ministry leader.