Texas – Texans were asked twice in July to conserve energy in their homes as record heat strained the power grid. Texans have been under excessive heat warnings this summer. Last month alone, temperatures reached 115 degrees.
Before the summer started, Governor Greg Abbott promised in a statewide televised speech that he would keep calling the legislature back into as many special sessions as needed to ensure all the weaknesses of the grid were addressed. Abbott failed on his promises to take action and now Texans are at risk of experiencing power outages during a dangerously hot summer.
United We Dream Action, NextGen America and the Sunrise Movement- three youth led organizations with millions of members across the country – share their perspective below.
Juan José Martinez-Guevara, Texas Advocacy Coordinator of United We Dream, said:
“As a Texan, I’ve been painfully reminded every day this summer that Governor Abbott does not care to acknowledge our worth or address our needs. Instead of fixing our power grid before Texans face a dangerous summer, the governor has put his sights on attacking young Texans like me.
I’m a queer DACA recipient and Texan, and this year alone I have deeply felt the attacks led by the governor and his allies in the legislature. From attempts to erase our existence by prohibiting learning about the history of racism in schools, the ban against trans student athletes, and his hateful order to launch child abuse investigations of transgender kids receiving gender-affirming care, Governor Abbott has focused on suppressing our voices instead of taking action on the grid.
This sweltering summer is only getting worse and every day more and more Texans face the possibility of losing power during deadly heat waves. With many young people spending time at home for the summer, the risk of losing power is extremely concerning. Elected officials must act to ensure the well-being of Texans immediately!”
Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, NextGen America President, said:
“The levels of extreme heat in Texas, brought on by the climate crisis, are straining our grid system to the breaking point and leaving Texans across the state in danger. While we suffer, Governor Abbott and other Republicans are answering to their Big Oil donors and placing the blame and financial responsibilities on Texas families just wanting to stay safe.
An overwhelming amount of young people throughout the state are motivated to fight for climate justice, and at NextGen America, we are giving these young people the tools and resources to speak out for what they need in their communities.”
Varshini Prakash, Executive Director of Sunrise, said:
“Look around – we’re in the climate crisis. What we’re seeing in Texas is what happens when corporations are allowed to do whatever they want to make a profit at the expense of our communities. We need strong power grids that can withstand climate disasters and run on renewable energy. Young people are sick of broken systems and political inaction. Our leaders must step up and act boldly now, or families across this country will continue to suffer.”