Support for clean energy jobs gives hope to Texas students

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AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Graduate student Jenny Sauer is looking forward to earning her degree and jumping into the job market in the clean energy industry.

Texas added more than 10,000 clean energy jobs last year, according to a report from Environmental Entrepreneurs, a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders and investors focused on environmental issues.

“I think it’s really exciting,” Sauer, who is in her third year of a three-year dual degree in energy and earth resources at the University of Texas at Austin, said.

“Historical forms of energy and ongoing forms of energy like oil and gas are going to continue to be a pretty big part of the energy system for the foreseeable future but there are also these cool new technologies,” she explained.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbot declared Sept 23-27, 2019 as Clean Energy Week.

“Across Texas, clean and abundant forms of energy are powering more homes and businesses than ever before. This includes renewable sources such as wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal, as well as nuclear, natural gas, and carbon capture technologies,” Abbott’s proclamation stated.

“The clean energy sector is a key driver of economic growth in Texas, with scores of new jobs being added to the industry,” Abbott wrote. “With great benefits to Texas, these are jobs that cannot be outsourced due to the on-site nature of construction, installation, and maintenance. Clean energy jobs are inherently local and contribute to the growth of local economies.”

United States Energy Secretary and former Texas Governor Rick Perry champions diversity in the state’s energy resources.

“Making sure that these coal plants, these nuclear plants as well as our gas plants and the renewables, are all part of the mix and it will give us resiliency and reliability in our grid so that we have the power when we need it,” he said in a 2018 interview.

Sauer also serves as president of Longhorn Energy Club, which promotes academic and extra-curricular energy opportunities, including dialogue with industry experts and policymakers.

“There is not one set strategy that is going to work and there is no one set policy that is going to work,” she said. “Hopefully students are being trained to be nimble and flexible, and to think strategically and I think that is definitely a part of the way classes are run here.”

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