Appealing To Heads and Not Hearts – Opting for 100% Renewable Energy

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I recently read an article, in The Guardian, that was about a small town, Georgetown, Texas, that will be running off of 100% renewable energy by 2017. I was taken aback a little at the fact that it was a town in Texas opting for this change. Texas is notoriously known for its oil boom and constantly we see new rigs being put up. In my town alone we have new rigs going up every 2-3 months.

Texas
Active Drilling Rigs in Texas. Via oilfield services company Baker Hughes, the map above shows all of the current 898 “active drilling rigs” in Texas (blue triangles are oil rigs and red circles are gas drilling rigs), and helps to graphically highlight the shale oil booms in the Permian Basin area of West Texas, and the Eagle Ford Shale boom in the South-Central area of Texas. according to Baker Hughes, “active rigs” are those on location and drilling or ‘turning to the right’. A rig is active from the moment the well is initially “spudded” (when a oil drilling bit penetrates the surface) until it reaches its final “target depth.”
TABLE 1 – NOVEMBER TEXAS OIL AND GAS DRILLING PERMITS AND COMPLETIONS BY DISTRICT

RAILROAD COMMISSION DISTRICT PERMITS TO DRILL OIL/GAS HOLES OIL COMPLETIONS GAS COMPLETIONS
(1) SAN ANTONIO AREA 233 112 76
(2) REFUGIO AREA 186 49 36
(3) SOUTHEAST TEXAS 79 103 40
(4) DEEP SOUTH TEXAS 28 16 68
(5) EAST CENTRAL TX 21 7 4
(6) EAST TEXAS 41 13 21
(7B) WEST CENTRAL TX 41 37 5
(7C) SAN ANGELO AREA 122 111 4
(8) MIDLAND 529 918 16
(8A) LUBBOCK AREA 40 63 0
(9) NORTH TEXAS 118 81 84
(10) PANHANDLE 70 60 26


TABLE 2
 – OCTOBER TEXAS TOP TEN OIL AND GAS PRODUCING COUNTIES RANKED BY PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION

COUNTY CRUDE OIL (BBLS) COUNTY TOTAL GAS (MCF)
  1. KARNES
6,117,869
  1. TARRANT
55,258,565
  1. LA SALLE
4,757,866
  1. WEBB
46,108,800
  1. DE WITT
3,445,796
  1. PANOLA
28,517,919
  1. GONZALES
3,096,872
  1. JOHNSON
25,902,985
  1. MCMULLEN
3,031,155
  1. DIMMIT
22,383,245
  1. ANDREWS
2,883,750
  1. WISE
20,853,388
  1. UPTON
2,764,099
  1. DENTON
18,159,557
     8.  MARTIN 2,636,683       8.  DE WITT 18,034,659
  1. MIDLAND
2,531,111
  1. KARNES
16,763,623
   10. DIMMIT 2,512,754     10. WHEELER 13,955,978

-Chart from Railroad Commission of Texas

It was great to finally be reading an article of Texas doing something good for the environment. Reading the article it was amazing to imagine a town running off of 100% renewable energy. But the article seemed to be more focused on the fact that the citizens of the town were allowing this for the wrong intentions. Instead the article focused on how the members of Georgetown are agreeing to this to save themselves money. So instead of concentrating on the positive they chose to lean more towards the negativity of the story. But the thing is, in order to get people involved sometimes you have to tell the public how they will benefit from such a thing. I mean who wouldn’t want to save money? Saving money is the #1 thing that attracts people to projects such as this. In my opinion it isn’t awful if the citizens are doing positive things with the wrong intentions. Even though they are not in it for the environment they are still making a positive change. With this change it is possible that they will make an impact on the towns around Georgetown and that is something worth talking about.