Georgetown, TX (WBAP/KLIF) – Just north of the state capital, the small south Texas city of Georgetown is one of the fastest growing cities under 100,000 population; and, it’s one of the nation’s leaders in renewable energy.
An outspoken advocate on the issue is Georgetown’s conservative, Republican mayor.
Dale Ross has become a surprise champion of renewable energy, a title which he proudly embraces.
“That’s true, I’m a conservative Republican, but when we made a decision on our public utilities department to go 100% renewable energy, first and foremost it was a business decision, and then what we’ve understood since then is all the environmental benefits that go along with that, Mayor Ross told WBAP/KLIF.”
The city is 100% powered by wind and solar energy. Mayor Ross says as a result electricity costs are some of the lowest in Central Texas.
As he tries to make the case to others, Mayor Ross says he asks a simple question, “Do you want to pay more or less for your electricity?”
The clean energy and climate change topic is not one that has traditionally been embraced by Republicans, but Mayor Ross says over the years, many have come to acknowledge that climate change exists. He says the pressing debate now is whether or not it’s man-made or is it the polar bears up in the North Pole causing climate change.
But for Ross, converting to renewable energy was a “no brainer;” a his stance has brought international recognition to his city over the past year-and-a-half.
Most residents of his town of 70-thousand are proud be be a “city of innovation.”
Ross says for the ‘doubting Thomases’ Ross jokingly says the city can create alternative billing for those who have an issues with paying some of the lowest utilities bills in Central Texas.
Wind turbines at Spinning Spur 3 wind farm near Amarillo, is providing most of Georgetown’s energy needs, with its solar plant providing the rest.
Georgetown, Tx Mayor Dale Ross touring Spinning Spurs Wind Farm in Amarillo. (georgetown.org)
At a ribbon-cutting event at the Buckthorn solar plant last year, Mayor Ross said, “Buckthorn represents more than just energy. It represents a defining moment in history when renewable energy officially became competitive with fossils fuels on the cost of energy.”
Georgetown is about 30 miles north of Austin.
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