A “radical” climate change activist group is promoting a charter amendment that would leave the City of El Paso dependent on unreliable energy sources.

The group Sunrise El Paso wrote a “climate charter” calling for the city to “use all available resources and authority” to limit its use of fossil fuels.

Sunrise El Paso is a self-described “radical” activist organization and a branch of the National Sunrise Movement, which promotes the “Green New Deal” and ending the “climate crisis.” The National Sunrise Movement receives funding from Democrat organizations, including liberal billionaire George Soros’ political action committee Democracy PAC, the Tides Foundation, and Grove Action Fund.

Citizens will vote on the charter, also known as Proposition K, on May 6, with early voting starting on April 24.

Last year, voters approved a $5 million proposition to fund a “City Climate Action Plan” to study El Paso’s climate impact. While the action plan focused on evaluation, the proposed climate charter would implement policies affecting fossil fuel companies’ operations.

The charter would have El Paso create a climate department and hire a climate director to analyze city laws and practices to determine their climate impact and “advance the cause of climate justice.” The city would also have to form a nine-member climate commission, which would oversee the implementation and enforcement of climate policy.

The proposed amendment would encourage the city to rely on unreliable energy sources like solar and wind, which currently provide less than 5 percent of El Paso’s energy while preventing the sale or transfer of city water to fossil fuel companies.

As Sunrise El Paso tries to push the city toward unreliable energy sources, some are highlighting the failure of more than half of Texas’ wind turbines during the 2021 winter freeze.

The El Paso Chamber is also raising concerns about Proposition K.

An economic impact assessment of the charter commissioned by the EPC highlighted the potential risks of a “full-scale abolishment” of fossil fuel energy sources.

The assessment reported that if citizens approve the climate charter, the city will lose 170,000 jobs and $7.9 billion in profits by 2030, with the average El Paso household’s income of $51,000 shrinking by $38,800. The city would also be on track to lose 69 percent of its available energy by 2030 and 72 percent by 2045.

Although the EPC expressed support for using “sustainable” measures to grow the community, they condemned the charter’s potential economic impacts.

“The passage of the Climate Charter, as shown by the Economic Impact Analysis, would bring our economy to a screeching halt and roll back decades of investment – across all industries,” wrote the EPC. “​​The El Paso Chamber believes wholeheartedly action must be taken to move toward a sustainable future. However, we cannot, in good conscience, support an amendment that has the potential to put thousands of El Pasoans at risk of losing their jobs and livelihoods.”

Katy Marshall

Katy graduated from Tarleton State University in 2021 after majoring in history and minoring in political science.