Chapter 313 of the Texas Tax Code allows school districts to offer large tax breaks for 10 years to renewable energy and other businesses, including wind and solar farms.
The tax breaks come at no loss to the school districts. Instead, the state supplements the lost revenue to the districts from sales taxes and other state-collected taxes.
Cason’s bill seeks to remove their eligibility from the subsidy.
“Renewable energy is the most subsidized form of energy production in this country,” Cason said. “This subsidization has created an over-dependence in Texas on unreliable wind and solar power, which significantly contributed to the energy catastrophe of last week.”
The Texas Republican platform opposes the use of 313 agreements, while the Texas Democrat platform also calls for prohibiting “corporate welfare” incentives.
Last week, it was reported that 41 more wind and solar plants are set to receive tax abatements in 2021.
In fact, Texas wind and solar generators obtained $19.4 billion in taxpayer-funded benefits and subsidies between 2006 and 2019 alone. According to Bill Peacock, an energy policy analyst and researcher, 28 percent of renewable generators’ income came from subsidies in 2018.
Cason continued, saying, “I think it’s absurd that Texas taxpayers are being forced to pay for ‘green new deal’ initiatives that have contributed to the failure of our electric grid. I take the failures of last week very seriously, and this is one of the needed reforms to make sure the past failures never happen again.”
Though the 313 program is scheduled to sunset at the end of the year, legislation has been filed in both chambers to extend the scheme.
After the blackouts, there is increased demand for securing the Texas electrical grid, holding those responsible accountable, and ensuring that Texas is never afflicted by a statewide blackout again.
Concerned citizens can contact their state lawmakers.