[imgbelt img=windenergy.jpg]

Texas state comptroller said recently that the wind industry in the state had created only 500 to 800 jobs in the state, a fraction of the jobs she says will be lost under the climate bill pending in Congress. “I don’t know where the new jobs are going to come from,” Ms. Combs says. “They’re not going to come from wind.” Landing a green job in Texas, she adds, could be akin to finding a “unicorn—a sort of mythical beast.”

That comment stirred Greg Wortham, mayor of Sweetwater, Texas. He reports that in 2008 a researcher talked to 20 wind firms in his county (Nolan, in the Texas Panhandle) and  found 1,000 wind energy jobs. For those that don’t know the deep Republicanism of the Panhandle, Wortham writes, “And we are not an isolated “greenie” subculture. We are a proud Texas energy community, where 20 percent of the work force is in wind energy, 20 percent is in oil and gas, and 10 percent is in nuclear energy. We are also scheduled for the world’s first commercial-scale carbon sequestration coal-fired power plant.” 

Then he lists the Texas towns with wind energy firms: Abilene, Pampa, Dumas, Odessa, Sterling City, Roscoe, Snyder, Gainesville, Big Spring, San Angelo, Amarillo, Albany, Robert Lee, Round Rock, Stanton, Vega, Perryton, Corpus Christi, Houston, Freeport, Beaumont, El Paso, Nacogdoches, Dallas, Fort Worth, Coleman, Brownwood, Dickens, Floydada, Blackwell, Trent, Merkel, Nolan. “If there were only 20 jobs in each of those towns, that would exceed the 500 unicorns claimed by the comptroller,” Wortham wrote. “Given that Sweetwater has well more than 1,000 wind energy jobs and several others in the list have hundreds of permanent wind energy jobs each, it is with great confidence I can claim that the unicorn is alive and well and growing in Texas.”

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.