MCALLEN, Texas – Futuro RGV President Nedra Kinerk is urging Rio Grande Valley residents to get behind a Texas House resolution that favors geothermal energy production.
House Concurrent Resolution 30 was filed by state Rep. R.D. ‘Bobby’ Guerra of McAllen.
“Supporting geothermal energy production in Texas is one of my top priorities this session. It’s time to think outside the box and that’s why I filed HCR 30,” Guerra said, in a news release.
“Geothermal energy creates diversity in our energy production portfolio; it will maintain and create new jobs in the energy production sector; and once tapped, this source of energy is truly reliable and uninterruptible. It is carbon-free, renewable, and sustainable.”
Kinerk expressed her support for HCR 30 after watching a forum Futuro RGV held. McAllen Public Utility Board members Charles Amos and Ric Godinez were asked about the opportunities to create geothermal energy in South Texas. Rio Grande Guardian International News Service editor Steve Taylor of the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service was the moderator.
“After listening to you, I am wondering if we don’t need to encourage all of our listeners out there to contact Bobby Guerra and support the geothermal bill that he has presented to the legislature,” Kinerk told Amos and Godinez. “It seems like a win-win situation and certainly for McAllen.”
Here is an audio story on the Futuro discussion about geothermal energy production:
House Concurrent Resolution 30
Here is the text of Rep. Guerra’s HCR 30:
WHEREAS, In February 2021, Winter Storm Uri provided a harsh reminder of the fragility of the Texas power grid; and
WHEREAS, Record low temperatures created a catastrophic energy shortage as weather-related failures took down natural gas, nuclear, coal, wind, and solar generation; natural gas-fired power plants, which supply 42 percent of the state’s electricity, ran out of fuel as pipelines and related equipment froze; and
WHEREAS, The geographical characteristics of Texas have created untapped geothermal resources that can increase energy options; geothermal, which generates energy using heat from the Earth’s interior, is a reliable and flexible source that runs consistently regardless of weather conditions and can quickly adjust to the changing needs of the power system; it is clean, producing 95 percent fewer emissions than coal and 92 percent less than gas; moreover, it is endlessly renewable, as the superheated water can be injected back into the ground to run in a constant loop; and
WHEREAS, Texas has a long history with geothermal; the State Capitol was originally heated by geothermal water, and in the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Energy funded geothermal projects to provide space heating for the Falls Community Hospital in Marlin and Cotulla High School in the Eagle Ford Shale; geothermal resources along the Gulf Coast were catalogued and proven extractable in the 1970s and ’80s, but such initiatives languished once oil prices sank; and
WHEREAS, Every oil and gas well brings geothermal heat to the surface as a byproduct; preliminary data collected by Southern Methodist University over 15 years ago indicated that up to 2,000 megawatts of geothermal energy could be available just from the state’s then-extant oil and gas wells, and the subsequent fracking boom likely means that even more geothermal energy is available; more recent research has identified abundant geothermal energy reserves across Texas, and new technologies have made it possible to extract geothermal energy from deep below the Earth’s surface; geothermal technology can repurpose end-of-life oil and gas wells, alleviating the need for plugging, abandonment, or decommissioning while also supporting clean energy generation; and
WHEREAS, Geothermal energy development can also repurpose the skills and expertise of the state’s oil and gas workers, which are readily transferable; in Canada, many former oil workers have already made this transition; geothermal applications will create independent energy resources and jobs in a rapidly changing industry, and with its well-trained workforce, as well as its geological advantages, Texas is poised to realize tremendous economic development through geothermal expansion; and
WHEREAS, Texas must diversify its energy portfolio in order to create a more resilient, responsive power grid and maintain its energy leadership and independence, and geothermal energy is a resource that can provide thousands of good jobs and attract millions in investments while achieving these goals; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the 88th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby express support for geothermal energy production.
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