At this month’s meeting, we’ll hear from guest speaker Michael J. Osborne, who will share his thoughts on our Austin Energy and LCRA/Fayette Coal Plant campaigns.
Michael J. Osborne is the former Special Assistant to the General Manager for Energy Development at Austin Energy. He is a member and recent Chairman of the City of Austin Electric Utility Commission and also serves on the City of Austin Joint Sustainability Committee.
He has been a renewable energy and climate change activist since the mid-1970’s. In 1981, he installed the first wind farm in Texas. In 1983, his company, Osborne Solar, became the Solarex distributor for Texas. Throughout the 90s, his company documented and leased the wind resource for the Texas wind fields.
Michael was one of three founding members of the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association, and for more than 30 years he has been at the forefront in making Texas the leading Renewable Energy state.
Mr. Osborne is also a prolific writer. Of particular interest to us is his book, Silver in the Mine, a long term comprehensive energy plan for the City of Austin. All of his works are available in bookstores and on Amazon.
Here are all the details for 350 Austin’s September Open Meeting:
Note: We typically meet on the third Tuesday of each month. For September ONLY we are switching to the second Tuesday to avoid conflicting with Yom Kippur. We’ll be back to our regular third Tuesday schedule in October.
Earlier this summer, we wrote about 350 Austin member Mickey Fetonte’s Fossil Free Pledge quest. Mickey is traveling around Texas collecting pledge signatures from candidates for local, state, and national offices. As part of the pledge, candidates promise to not accept campaign donations from the fossil fuel industry. So far, Mickey has collected signatures from 113115121122124129 candidates. Way to go!
Below is a photo gallery documenting Mickey’s progress. Click on an image to view the full-size photo. We’ll continue to update the gallery with new photos as Mickey collects pledges from more candidates. Check back often!
Beto O'Rourke is a candidate for U.S. Senate. He signed the pledge on April 29, 2018.
Shirley McKellar is a candidate for U.S. House, Texas District 1. She signed the pledge on April 15, 2018.
John Lipscombe is a candidate for the Travis County Court at Law #3. He signed the pledge on April 9, 2018.
Chito Vela was a candidate for Texas House, District 46. He signed the pledge on April 5, 2018.
Tim Mahoney was a candidate for Texas Comptroller. He signed the pledge on March 20, 2018.
Cam Scott was a candidate for Round Rock City Council District 3. He signed the pledge on March 18, 2018.
Sheryl Cole is a candidate for Texas House, District 46. She signed the pledge on February 7, 2018.
Rich DePalma is a candidate for Austin City Council District 8. He signed the pledge on April 7, 2018.
Paige Ellis is a candidate for Austin City Council District 8. She signed the pledge on April 7, 2018.
Steve Adler is a candidate for Austin Mayor. He signed the pledge on March 24, 2018.
Gina Hinojosa, candidate for Texas House, District 49. She signed the pledge on March 24, 2018.
Kolby Duhon, candidate for Austin Young Democrats President. He signed the pledge on March 24, 2018.
Sarah Eckhardt is a candidate for Travis County Commissioner's Court (County Judge). She signed the pledge on March 24, 2018.
Ann Kitchen is a candidate for Austin City Council District 5. She signed the pledge on March 24, 2018.
Brigid Shea is a candidate for Travis County Commissioners Court Precinct 2. She signed the pledge on March 24, 2018.
Mike Siegel is a candidate for U.S. House, Texas District 10. He signed the pledge on March 24, 2018.
On September 8, thousands of events will be held in cities and towns around the world to bring awareness to climate change, help promote green living, learn about local vendors who can help make a difference and call on our local leaders to commit to building a fossil free world that works for all of us.
We have invited city officials and local candidates to discuss their position on environmental topics. There will be local providers of good and services to help you make better decisions for yourself and the environment.
Join us at the Rusty Mule, 9201 Hwy 290 East, Austin, TX 78736, from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM for an inspiring and informational afternoon. The Rusty Mule a family friendly outdoor venue situated on 3 acres of heavily treed open land. There is a playscape and plenty of room for kiddos to run about (but not pets, sorry), food trucks and a full service bar. There will be live music and representatives from social and environmental groups to learn more about all the possibilities to move the needle in the right direction.
UPDATE: Due to an 80% chance of thunderstorms on Saturday, Environment Texas has decided to postpone the Climate Solutions Tour until next weekend (9/15). Stay tuned for new details.
On Sep. 8, as part of the Rise for Climate Global Day of Action, join us for a “Climate Solutions Tour” of east Austin. We’ll visit the La Loma Community Solar Farm to learn how solar energy can help replace dirty coal energy, Eden East Farm to talk about how sustainable agriculture can help fight climate change, and check out an Electric Vehicle Showcase at Austin Community College’s Eastview Campus. Then, we’ll head to the Friends and Allies brewery to check out some of their sustainability measures and wrap up the day with a cold drink. Bike or carpool if you can!
10 – 1030 AM – La Loma Community Solar Farm, 942 Lott Ave, Austin TX 78721
11 – 1130 AM – Eden East Farms, 755 Springdale Rd, Austin, TX 78702
At 350 Austin we believe in play as well as work, so we are excited to tell you that the 350 Austin Happy Hour is back, with a twist. We will be hosting a monthly Happy Hour on the first Thursday of the month. Join us on Thursday, September 6 for our first “First Thursday Happy Hour” at Cenote – 1010 E. Cesar Chavez. 6:30 to 9:00 pm.
Calling all friends of 350 Austin, new and old! Join us for an evening of casual drinks & conversation. Meet others who are excited about the #FossilFreeFast movement! Come early or late!
In addition to beer and wine, Cenote has a full food menu and non-alcoholic beverage list. There’s something for everyone! Children are welcome at this happy hour.
To get Austin to be “Fossil Free Faster”, it’s going to take more than just pressuring Austin Energy (AE). While we are not shifting that focus, we are expanding it to include the LCRA* – AE’s “partner in crime” at the Fayette coal plant. When it comes to the Fayette Power Plant (FPP), it’s about more than just CO2 and its impact on climate change and the health of the nearby community – as bad as those effects are.
There’s a water grab going on. And if you want to get Texans riled up, just go after their water.
Al Braden, Austin’s own photographer extraordinaire and long-time activist on climate change, will be leading us in what is bound to be a very motivating discussion on how to get organized to take on the LCRA* in our goal of shutting down the Fayette Power Plant altogether.
And don’t forget that we have candidates’ forums to plan, so come prepared to roll up your sleeves as we get to work on that pressing project. Solar Austin is partnering with 350 Austin, so we can make new friends while we identify when and where the forums will be held. And draft the questions we want our mayoral and city council candidates to answer.
Here are all the details for 350 Austin’s August Open Meeting:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pulled off an upset win in a NY Democratic primary against an established incumbent, and will now likely be elected to congress this November. Her “Green New Deal” plan will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan. Let’s start the discussion with this and see where it leads.
As usual, we will meet from 7:00pm to 8:30pm on July 24th at the Cepeda Branch Library, 651 N Pleasant Valley Rd, Austin.
At our July Open Meeting, we learned more about the Fayette Power Project, a dangerous coal power plant that is partially-owned by Austin Energy (AE). We talked about potential strategies to pressure AE to divest from Fayette more quickly, as well as ways we could advocate for a full-plant shutdown.
Al Braden gave a presentation about the Fayette coal plant and AE’s stake in the facility. He also updated us on measures being taken by the AE Electric Utility Commission (EUC) to push for more transparency around Fayette. Thank you to Al for your informative presentation!
If you missed the meeting or would like to review Al’s presentation, the slides and video are available below. We hope to see you at our next Open Meeting on August 21!
Monday, 7/16 (6 to 8 p.m.) – Electric Utility Commission(EUC) meeting at 721 Barton Springs. Citizens Communication at the start of the meeting. Wear your 350 Austin shirt. The EUC is taking note of our presence. Immediately after Citizens’ Communication, those on the Campaign Strategy Circle will meet in another room and return to the EUC meeting for Item #11. EUC 07.16.18 Agenda & documents
Despite the IPCC’s dire report that we have twelve years to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50%, we know that this consensus-generated report almost certainly underestimates how rapidly changes must occur. And since the release[...]