Dr. Rosemary Edwards, chairman of the Travis County Republican Party, has an op-ed in today’s Austin American-Statesman that you might find interesting, concerning the city’s recent mandate on GreenChoice energy.

From the op-ed:

Our leaders in Austin are pushing their own attempt to "save the world" with an aggressive energy plan to get 30 percent of our electricity from renewable energy by 2020. Mayor Lee Leffingwell has already issued an apology for the coming rate hikes needed to fund that plan. That apology will ring hollow when many families are unable to buy groceries or pay the electric bill because of increased taxes.

In short? Austin’s green energy mania is costing taxpayers. It’s possible that Austinites could see a 50% hike in their energy bills as soon as this winter.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s David Guenthner discussed this issue in Environment and Climate News. He said, "It’s not surprising that the vast majority of customers have opted for traditional energy given that GreenChoice costs 60 percent more."

As some of the rare Austin residents with a choice in our energy supplier (living in a M.U.D., and not Austin proper), my husband and I have had to sit down and seriously consider switching companies. I doubt we’ll go through the end of the year with Austin Energy, and it is directly because of the GreenChoice mandate. (note to the anti-energy-dereg crowd – this is one reason why we need choice!)

Edwards says it best: "Those who are able to pay the additional costs involved will pay it if the cost is worth it. Forcing it on everyone will only increase taxes and drive people and businesses away from Austin."