Republican Mayor Dale Ross of Georgetown, Texas is an unlikely champion for renewable energy, given the makeup of his constituency and the traditional views of his party. However, the Texas mayor is so committed to pursuing green energy that he plans for his city to become one of the first in the country to receive all of its power needs from wind and solar power.
“We’ve got an endless supply of wind and sun,” Ross said in a recent video interview with an independent filmmaker. “I’ll take that bet over fossil fuels, any day of the week.”
Ross acknowledges that he is breaking party lines with his views on renewable energy, but he says we “need to put national politics aside and make decisions that are best for the people we serve.”
Texas has recently become one of the national leaders in renewable electric power because its climate provides excellent access to wind and the sun. Ross says that the town started using renewable in 2008, with an initial goal of getting 30% of their power from renewable sources by 2030. However, due to advancements in renewable technology, the town has been able to be more ambitious with their renewable energy goals. Last year Georgetown came in just under the bar of receiving all its power from renewable sources. A new solar farm will come online in West Texas next year, virtually guaranteeing that the city will be able to be 100% powered by renewable energy.
“From then on, we will be 100 percent renewable,” said Ross. “I think we will run out of fossil fuels before we ever run out of sunshine and wind.”
Ross recently met with Al Gore, longtime Democrat and maker of “An Inconvenient Truth”, the famous documentary on climate change. Gore was intent on meeting with Ross to discuss the issues of climate change and the role of renewable energy in combating it. The two seem intent on bridging partisan gaps to make renewable energy a viable and thriving enterprise.