Sunday, September 30, 2018

Micael Priest (1951-2018)


Weirdly, Micael Priest finished his walk with us this September on the 11th as another 9/11 memory gets burned into our collective history. He was born on October 11th.

His public life is pretty well known by folks in the music scene here in Austin.  Here's the opening from the Austin Chronicle story:

"Micael Priest, whose poster art remains deeply representative of Austin music, passed away yesterday at age 66. He had been suffering from multiple health issues, including diabetes and a bad heart.

Micael Priest was the most prolific of the Armadillo Art Squad,” says South Austin Museum of Popular Culture Director Leea Mechling, referring to the legendary in-house team at the Armadillo World Headquarters, which included Jim Franklin, Guy Juke, Danny Garrett, Bill Narum, Henry Gonzalez, Kerry Awn, G.L. McElhaney, Ken Featherston, Nels Jacobson, and Sam Yeates. “Known for his iconic laconic style of drawing, his work was unmistakable. Quick witted and with an incredible sense of humor, Micael drew his way through life."

But my story is a little more personal.

I first met Micael when my housemate over on Grooms street knew of someone who had a Volkswagon bus.  We were moving a refrigerator.  Turns out that the guy who had the bus was Micael Priest.  At the time, I was working on putting together a pants store over on Koenig street.  After seeing Micael's drawings, I asked him to do a logo for the shop.  He ultimately drew murals in each of the dressing rooms.  He also acted as the art director in our painting scheme.

It was then that I learned that he was color blind.

Several months later, Micael moved back to the Fort Worth area to work at a professional illustration studio called the Sketch Pad run by Don Punchatz.  It was there that Micael did the work on a national magazine cover for a 1984 story.  (it was probably 1970)  Micael had turned the three dimensional numbers into military tank like figures with large battleship rivets.  It was truly a great illustration that he never got credit for due to his employ with Don.

There in Fort Worth, Micael lived with Paula his young beautiful wife and his very young son.  He was trying to live the normal life.  But Micael was no where close to normal.  He at the time was one of the most unusual people I had ever met.  And, perhaps more importantly, we shared a lot of beliefs about the nature of reality and other metaphysical constructs. And his language was unique.  I still say "horse pistol" instead of hospital.

Within about a year, my work developing jean shops morphed into a small advertising agency called Directions Company.  

After getting several accounts lined up like Mother Earth and Castle Creek, I went to see Eddie Wilson at the Armadillo.  As he says in his book, I got the account because of my last name which is identical to Eddie's middle and original last name.

I needed someone to do the poster work, so I made my way up to see Micael.  I told him it would make him famous. His marriage was headed for the rocks at the time and so he said yes, moving almost immediately back to Austin, living in the refurbished attic of the advertising agency.  It was barely that, but we did get a bathroom up there. Given that the ceiling was a giant orange parachute, it would have made a perfect scene in Slacker.

Over the next few years, as Directions Company became more prominent as the place for posters and high quality radio spots, Micael was a drawing machine.  We became brothers of a different mother. But we were busy, so we brought in other poster artists like Ken Featherston, Guy Juke, Danny Garrett, Kerry Fitzgerald, Sam Yates and others.  And because of the increased concert load, we brought in Joe Gracey to cut spots in our private recording studio.

It was there that we cut the spots for Willie's first big picnic.  We even cut the spots for Lloyd Doggett as he ran for state representative as a very young man.

As Directions Company went Everwuchawe,  (literally) Micael and our stable of artists moved to the art studios at Armadillo where he and his fellow artists would draw and create the memorable hay day of  Austin Music scene art. It has since found a home at the museum of culture on South Lamar over the last several decades.

Many years later, Micael and I reconnected again as he moved for a time to Real de Catorce, our little Mexican town 9000 feet in the mountains in the state of San Luis.  We spent many hours together riding the altiplano.  Micael never really did drive.  It was just too much for him to keep together.

His good friends managed to get him on social security so he could survive in the public housing that he passed away in.  There, friends would check on him and take him out to lunch.  He stopped drawing a decade ago. Some of us tried to get him to Nashville for the Armadillo show at the Country Music Hall of Fame this summer, but it never worked out.

I was thinking of Micael just the other day, actually marveling at his tenacity and love for life that he possessed.  The next day,  Rock n Roll Jimmie called me to tell me he had been found by Bobby that morning.

Micael was the first person I knew who would say "Weird with a Beard".

And he was that and so much more. He was more than unique.

He was extraordinary.

Micael had a brother named Al and I presume his son is around.

I look forward to seeing them at Threadgills on November 11th for his special service.

Directions Company 1973

Here is a rather remarkable video produced by Bob Simmons about Micael:

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*photo courtesy of the Austin Chronicle


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Friday, August 31, 2018

Driving Electric

There is something to driving electric that is more than the sum of its parts.  Sure, they are faster (generally), they are quieter, you don’t have to breath dangerous chemicals to make them go, and there is some comfort in the fact that if you accidentally fall asleep in your car while parked in the garage, you actually will wake up.

Most electric cars are smarter than their smoking hillbilly cousins and they are definitely cheaper to drive.  Want to pay a dollar for electric.  Want to never again spend $129.00 dollars on an oil change, oil filter, and air filter electric.  Tired of waiting for your car as your mechanic finishes that brake job on your 3 year old car... drive electric.

Plus, you might experience what I experienced several months ago.  I was driving east on Hwy 290, a little faster than the speed limit, when this huge “dually” truck  (four tires on the rear axle) comes roaring around me.  It’s a real fancy black truck with shiny dual vertical chrome exhaust pipes running up on both sides of the cabin. There was probably some stickers that I didn’t read but I suspect that the long-haired driver was a member of a political class that rhymes with bumper.

So this guy passes me, then abruptly slows down in front of me. Then, with the flick of some switch, he zooms off leaving a huge noxious black cloud of smoke in his tracks, with me in those tracks...I mean thick black smoke like a locomotive in a western movie.

I had been “smoked”.

And yes, that is a thing.

Surely, I deserved it in his eyes, I was driving the fastest, smartest car on the road in my judgment, and he needed to communicate his unhappiness with that. It was a first amendment thing.

So watch out for those smokers.

Personally, I’m on my second electric car.  The one I have now is all electric, and the one I had before was a plug-in hybrid. The plug-in hybrid went about 40 miles on electric fuel, and then if I needed to travel, the on-board generator would kick in.  There was zero range anxiety and as a cultural transition vehicle, it is pretty smart.  A plug-in hybrid embodies the 80/20 rule quite nicely.  With 80% of trips under 40 miles, then make those emission free trips.  When you drive to Memphis, do that with gas.

I don’t have that option with my “S”.  If I’m traveling out of town, I need to do a little planning.  Fortunately, the computer makes that easy.  One night I got down to about 25 miles before I pulled into the high-speed charger behind the discount mall at mile 202.  Within a few minutes, I had 120 miles again, and Austin was only 30 miles away. Most of the time I charge overnight and wake up to a car that is almost always full and ready to go.

But electric driving is different.  You don’t think of getting a fill-up.  You think of getting home.  Because, unlike a gas car, you get most of your “go” at home.

Electric Car sales are gearing up so to speak.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, “cumulative passenger EV sales worldwide are set to hit 4 million this week.  Including electric buses, the 4 million threshold has already been reached. At the end of June, there were more than 3.5 million passenger EVs sold globally and about 421,000 electric buses, bringing the total number of EVs sold to 3.97 million.

Sales were driven in large part by China, which is responsible for around 37 percent of passenger EVs sold around the world since 2011 and around 99 percent of e-buses.”

Bloomberg goes on:
"Setting e-buses aside, we expect cumulative passenger EV sales to reach 4 million units before the start of September 2018. There are several new EV models that we expect to come to the market before the end of 2018, which should help increase sales numbers globally.

The next million EVs will take just over 6 months. We expect the five-millionth EV to be sold in March 2019."

There is a professor at Texas A & M who considers himself an electric car expert.  He doesn’t believe that we will ever replace the advanced gasoline cars of today because they are just so good.

He also doesn’t drive an electric car.

He also doesn’t believe that climate change is a transcendent problem.

That in order to get the carbon out of our world, we will need to run our cars on wind and solar.  And with enough electric cars, we will have enough stored energy to do it.

Driving Electric is more than the sum of its parts, because electric transportation is the building block to a carbon-free world.

September is a good a time to start because it’s Drive Electric Week from the 8th to the 16th. Here in Texas, there will be events in Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Austin.  The Dallas event is in Grapevine on Sept 8th, and the Austin event is on the 15th.

Join us in Austin on Electric Drive Saturday, September 15th, and climb into the driver’s seat of the newest electric vehicles available. There will also be the latest scooters, motorcycles, mopeds, buses, skateboards and bikes. Grab lunch from one of our food trucks and enjoy the live music, workshops and activities for kids!

Sponsored locally by Public Citizen, the Texas Electric Transportation Resources Alliance (TxETRA), Austin Energy, and SmartCharge America, it might be your opportunity to become part of the solution.

Hopefully, it will help keep us all from getting “smoked”.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Quorum Card

It is generally thought that the Democrats can basically do nothing about the upcoming confirmation of another Supreme Court Justice, the second appointed by a president who currently is under investigation for conspiring with a foreign government to undermine and subvert the election process by abetting  the theft of campaign documents and strategies of his opposition, by actively soliciting  "dirt" from foreign agents, and knowingly encouraging further lawbreaking in public statements.

These charges are not speculative, they are undisputed facts. A former CIA director has publicly stated that the behavior we saw in Helsinki is "nothing short of treasonous

And they alone make this president and his actions as president  illegitimate.

The D's seemingly have no power to stop the appointment of a Justice who might very well be the 5th vote in deciding whether the president must respond to subpoena or face a grand jury.  At present, the Supreme Court is down to 8 Justices due to the retirement of Justice Kennedy at the end of July.  A four four tie would leave the decision of the lower DC Court of Appeals in place.

So not confirming this fifth judge is crucial.

This from Wikipedia:

In legislatures, a quorum call is used to determine if a quorum is present. Since attendance at debates is not mandatory in most legislatures, it is often the case that a quorum of members is not present while debate is ongoing. In many bodies, motions such as amendments, introduction of new legislation, and recommitment may be approved in the absence of a quorum, provided no member then present objects.

A member wishing to delay proceedings (for example, to allow other members time to get to the chamber in order to join debate) may request that the presiding officer determine whether a quorum is present. If a quorum does not appear to be present, debate is suspended, as the only business allowed without a quorum is to adjourn, recess, summon absent members, or compel their attendance if the body has the power to do so.

In the Senate, if any Senator "suggests the absence of a quorum," the Presiding Officer must direct the roll to be called. For practical purposes, a quorum call is a delaying measure that permits the Senate leadership to work out some difficulty or to await a Senator's arrival.

The Constitution requires a majority of Senators (51) for a quorum. Often, fewer Senators are actually present on the floor, but the Senate presumes that a quorum is present unless the contrary is shown by a roll call vote or quorum call.

Right now, Republicans have a slim edge in their control of the US Senate with 51 votes. With Senator McCains's absence, they can break a tie vote with the Vice President if they only have 50 votes. But they cannot use Vice President Pence to make a quorum.

And without a quorum, they cannot conduct business or confirm a nomination.

The Republicans stole a Supreme Court appointment by not giving Merrick Garland a hearing.

They stood strong.

Now the Democrats have their chance.

Imagine this scenario.  Republicans begin their panzer-like effort to ram their candidate through the confirmation process just weeks before the election; Senate D's in red states are nervous because they know that their vote will only be used against them in the campaign. They know their vote will be closer to hara kiri than a meaningful political statement.

But if they knew that their refusal to allow a quorum would actually stop the process, then the Republicans and this illegitimate president would be forced to summon them to the Senate Chamber. And if they did not appear, they would be compelled to appear.

And if they did not cooperate, they might be jailed....but that still would not get the Senate in session.

In the meantime, the D's win the house handily, and amazingly they win control of the Senate.

And in a stroke of courage and solidarity, the illegitimate Manchurian President is made to testify before the grand jury, and the fifth radical judge is not confirmed, and rule of the minority over the majority is ended.

That would be a midterm election that would rock the world.

And it would make some Democratic Heros

Because they played the Quorum card.

Lord knows we need some.

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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Why Didn't I Know That?

I read. A lot. I suppose you do too.

I watch MSNBC and CNN.  I look forward to Rachel but I often watch the whole line-up.  If there is a commercial, I flash over to CNN.

I listen to NPR almost every morning and afternoon.

And I spend a lot of time on the WEB, probably too much time.  I follow Talking Points Memo, The Huffington Post, Crooks and Liars, The Raw Story, Politicus, Politico, Think Progress and lots of other sites.

But I feel like I'm a little starved for the real stuff.  That's why I go to the Bill Moyer Russian investigation time line. And when I learn something there that isn't everywhere I wonder,  Why didn't I know that?

Like, Why didn't I know that Paul Manafort was partner with childhood friend Roger Stone way back in the dirty glory days of Nixon Republican politics.  And that when they weren't doing slimy campaigns with Republican operatives like Lee Atwater, they were doing slimy gambling casino work for a New York mafia connected developer named Donald Trump.

Why don't I know that the father of the former Russian Ambassador Kysliak, who was brought back to Russia last year after meeting with Trump campaign officials, was the head of the KGB for decades?

Why don't I know about Donald Trump's trip to Russia in 1987 when he was still married to the east European Ivana, and that the Russian government arranged and paid for the whole trip, including staying in the KGB Hilton right next to Lenin's tomb which has more bugs in it than an east Texas cottage without screens.

Why don't I know that Donald Trump's banker at Deutchebank is the son of a soon to be retired Supreme Court justice, who seems to have retired at the optimum political moment.

Why don't I know that 100s of millions of dollars in real estate sales of Trump properties were made to Russians for cash?

Why don't I know that Donald Trump used the New York Mafia to construct the Trump Tower, the home of Donald Trump and Paul Manafort.

And why don't we all know about Donald Trump's taxes?

And why don't all of us see that Donald Trump's positions to weaken NATO, offer money to Macron to leave the European Union, put tariffs on our allies and trading partners, add Russia back to the G8,  recognize Crimea as part of Russia, and generally do everything else are the signs of Russian puppeteer strings ?

We do know that over 20 of Trump's campaign officials have had contacts with Russian Agents before, during, and immediately after the campaign.

We do know that the Senate committee investigating Russian influence in the 2016 concurs with our Intelligence Agencies that the Russians worked to elect Donald Trump and to damage Clinton.

We do know that Russian agents broke into the National Democratic Party's computers and that those stolen emails were released by Wikileaks and that Roger Stone, Trumps meta-advisor knew of it before most. And we know they were released soon after the Trump pussy tape was revealed.

We do know that Trump is a serial liar.

We do know that Trump is racist.

We do know he was abusive to his first wife.

What I don't know, is

How is it that this Manchurian President gets to appoint another supreme court judge while under criminal investigation for collusion with a foreign power?

And why don't we all know that an illegitimate President 

cannot make legitimate appointments.

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Texas Electric Transportation Resources Alliance

Here is the opening of the first Texas Electric Transportation Resources Alliance Newsletter.

Message from TxETRA Board Chair, Michael Osborne

About a year ago, I came to the conclusion that the time for a statewide electric transportation advocacy group was just about here.

Well, after a dinner in late October, a lunch in December, about 10 interim board meetings in Jan, Feb, and March, and a fabulous board meeting and founding reception at the Austin Club on April 6th, TxETRA was born.

Thank you to all of you who have helped make this happen. I'm especially grateful to Mark Kapner, Dale Bula, Joep Meyer, Cary Ferchill, Austin Energy, The Wind Coalition, Public Citizen, Janis Bookout of EarthDay ATX, and the Energy Foundation.  It goes without saying just how much rocket fuel our Executive Director, Tom "Smitty" Smith, has poured into this effort. We have also been blessed with the help of Stacey Abel, our Policy and Communications Director.

This spring alone, we have met or made presentations to ERCOT, LCRA, CPS, AECT, OMCOR, the Chairman of the PUC, Plug-in Texas, the National Alliance for Transportation Electrification, and a host of elected officials who will be critical to our effort in preparing Texas roads and infrastructure for the transportation transformation that is on the near horizon.

We are over 70 transportation professionals, utility execs, car and truck manufacturers, and academic thinkers, along with electric owners and activists who want to work together to shape the future.

Our Mission is to guide and accelerate the adoption of electrical transportation in all its forms in the most cost effective way providing maximum benefit to the Citizens of Texas.

If you haven't yet joined us, I hope you will.

Please enjoy the 4-minute video (below) from our TxETRA Launch on April 6th where we were joined by Phil Jones, Executive Director of the national Alliance for Transportation Electrification, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, and a host of other distinguished leaders who are applauding our efforts.

Our Executive director Tom Smith says it well:

"We are at the frontier of developing new ways of transporting ourselves across Texas and we need your help to make it happen. Electrified transportation is growing rapidly all over the world because it lowers operating costs and reduces emissions, while creating new business and manufacturing opportunities.

It’s already cheaper to own and fuel an electric vehicle - and it will be cheaper to buy an electric vehicle by 2025. The transformation in how we transport ourselves is largely being driven and developed in Asia and Europe, and so the change will occur with or without policy changes in the U.S.  How Texas responds will determine whether we are in the driver’s seat or in the back of the bus.

As battery technology continues to evolve at lightning speed, people are turning to electric vehicles for health, environmental and economic reasons. Moreover, a recent AAA customer survey revealed that 20% of American drivers indicated that their next car would be an electric vehicle. We believe it is our responsibility to put the infrastructure in place to be ready for this future that is racing quickly toward us."

Yesterday I drove my "S" to San Antonio to see a dear friend who had just received a new set of LUNGS at University Hospital.  Going to the other side of SA on a 102 degree day made the 85 mile drive a 105 mile drive with the Air Conditioner going strong.  With my 235 mile range, that made the return trip a little close, so I stopped at the super convenient super charger in San Marcos behind the outlet mall at mile marker 200 on Centerpoint road. I had about 60 miles left.

I plugged in and watched through the window as the charge took hold. As it reached 200 KW,  I walked off to the POLO shop.  In 15 minutes or so, I bought a new Ralph Lauren sport coat and came back to a car with 180 miles of charge.

Going electric is different.  And you don't realize what a healthy luxury it is to NEVER stop at a nasty, stinking, oil soaked gas station again...until you experience it.

You can even get a little shopping done.

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Patient Zero

My contribution to EARTH DAY

The Texas Chronicle
April 22, 2038
by Max Stamp

Few took notice of a story back in 2016 when a team of Japanese scientists sifting through plastic waste found bacteria capable of breaking down and “eating” one of the world’s most popular plastics ― polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. It was hailed as a potential breakthrough at the time.

But in a new twist, British and American scientists have announced that while studying this bacteria, they accidentally created a mutant enzyme that’s even more efficient at breaking down plastic bottles.

The discovery came as a team of scientists from the University of Portsmouth in the U.K. and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the U.S. examined an enzyme produced by the Japanese bacteria to find out more about its structure. By shining intense beams of X-rays on it, 10 billion times brighter than the sun, they were able to see individual atoms. Manipulating the structure to better understand how it worked, they accidentally engineered the mutant enzyme.

It was seen as a great opportunity to begin to break down the swirling bogs of bottles and plastic sacks that were beginning to become problematic in our oceans and waterways.

So in the spring of 2022, with great fanfare, implementation of the Clean Oceans Project began.  A large fleet of tankers moved into the south Pacific where a large accumulation of pollution had grown to several thousand square miles.  Tanker ships from all over the world participated in the global effort to help eliminate one of the greatest legacies of over a hundred years of affordable and plentiful oil supplies.

Millions of tons of the now mutated bacteria was released by Dow, BASF, and even ExxonMobil. Virtually every shipper of global oil supplies participated in the effort to clean our oceans from our reckless indifference towards them.  Within a few months, the results were encouraging.  The mass of bottles and plastic sacks began to decompose at a rapid rate and then fall deep into the ocean where it would further decompose and become relatively harmless to ocean marine systems.

The combined scientific panel at the United Nations (IGPOO) published a preliminary report declaring the initiative a scientific success and recommended that other trouble spots in the Indian Ocean be treated with the same protocols.

The world scientific community was almost giddy with success.

Then late in 2026, an odd report came out of Saudi Arabia. Even though Saudi reserves were still quite strong, production from the Kingdom dropped about 10% from 9 million bpd to a little over 8 mbpd.

It seemed that some of their older wells and especially the mighty Garwar area had seen its fine quality crude  become more tarlike and more difficult to pump and to refine. One area was closed off completely and was reportedly quarantined.

The next year, production in the Saudi oil fields again declined but they also declined in Azerbaijan. Production in Qater was off.  Then in 2028, the price of Brent crude  ticked up from 90.00 dollars a barrel to $120.  This was the highest price seen in the markets since the 2014 oil price collapse.

The next year production went down everywhere, including Russia and in the US, and prices increased again to $140.00; as they would for the next 10 years, closing this year at $240.00.

It seems that when the over 300 tankers used in the UN's Clean Ocean Project went back to work moving oil from one point on earth to the next,  they took in sea water for ballast after delivering the jacked up bacteria to the south Pacific experimental operation and the other sites. When they arrived at the oil terminals, the ships discharged that bacteria tainted water into the waterways of every major oil channel on earth, thus infecting the earth's oil producing facilities with uncanny epidemiological precision.

The mutant bacteria, hungry to eat even more hydrocarbon chains mutated again as it prospered in the polluted oilways of Earth's petrochemical complex. How it got upstream into the oil reserves themselves is still a mystery.  It's as if the bacteria knew where the oil was. Some speculate that climate change activists somehow engineered the entire event.

Whether brought about through serendipity, stupidity, or guile, the events that have transpired are breathtaking in their influence on human culture. Global oil reserves within a decade became unavailable.

Because of the high price of oil and the reduced price of advanced electric transportation, coupled with the continued reductions in price of solar cells and wind power, renewable powered state of the art EV's became ubiquitous.  In many cities and countries, laws and milestones to outlaw internal combustion engines were met years ahead of schedule.

But not only have most cars and trucks become electric drive vehicles, the vast majority drive themselves.  This has led to a 50% reduction in vehicles on the roads with all new highway projects canceled or deferred. Many deliveries are handled through small delivery bots and drones.

The air in Bejing is now better than Boulder's.

The transition that occured in the blink of an eye in the early 1900's as human kind moved from horses to horsepower was reversed in another wink of an eye in this century because of bacteria.

Oil reserves were simply too thick to remove as they became tar pits.

For the first time in 150 years, parts per million of CO2 have actually dropped from 450 ppm to 448 as the Earth has grown a beard of carbon life.  It's projected that our carbon molecule needs for fiber and construction will come from these renewable stores of carbon.

As if some alien smart bomb went off, humankind moved from a culture of consumption to a new age of wisdom and opportunity.

Or maybe Mother Earth simply decided to take our gasoline away.

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Transportation Transformation

Sometimes, in the spirit of blogging about things that are bigger than the parts, I seem to forget to simply share what I'm doing in my own world and life.  When I blogged everyday 14 years ago, it was not only easy but essential to talk about my projects.  With my reduced blogging schedule over the last 5 years, a lot of that has gone by the wayside.

But last night, as my mind was rolling like a bowling ball down an Olympic bobsled course, I realized that my current project deserves a little attention.

I've been working on it steadily since early last fall and it's coming together.

Last fall at the TREIA conference in Georgetown when Al Gore spoke, I invited several dozen folks to dinner.  At that dinner , we agreed to meet before the end of the year to kick off the new project.

My November letter said:

Dear Colleague:

Several months ago,  (OK it's been almost a year) it occurred to me that the time for a state wide organization to promote electric transportation is just about here.

With announcements coming from existing car manufacturers of their intentions to move their product lines toward electric drive,  and with whole nation states like China, India, and France announcing timetables to end combustion engines within their boundaries and cities, the message is not just on the wall, it's on the jumbo-tron.

In the mid-eighties, a group of us started the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association.  We knew back then that the time for Renewables was on the horizon. Today we have over 20 GWs of Renewable Energy  in Texas alone!  And it will soon be approaching 30 GWs.

And now it's time to begin to use that energy in our transportation sector.

In late October, I hosted a vision dinner in Georgetown to  introduce TxETRA  at the Al Gore TREIA conference.  About 40 folks attended. And from that meeting, about a dozen folks showed interest in making this happen.  I have also chatted with several dozen industry folks who also want to help make this a reality.  So, I am enclosing a very basic Power Point of the concept, our constituency, and our mission.

I have reserved TxETRA as an org, net, and tech. And if we don't like it, we can change it.

I am proposing that we schedule a preliminary organizational lunch meeting at the Austin Club in early December with a goal to convene the first organization meeting in early February.

You can help by sending me your suggestions for other groups and individuals we will need to make this happen.

Have a good turkey day



We met in December and created an interim board of directors.  With that board, we built up a good mailing list and began to meet over the last three months.  In the meantime, I got the corporate documents together and put together the TxETRA web site,

Then, in February, we made contact with a guy named Phil Jones.  He was a utility commissioner from the state of Washington and for a while was the president of  NARUC, a national organization for utility commissioners.  Interestingly, he was doing the same thing we were doing, but at the National level.

Also during this time, Tom Smith, the 31 year veteran executive director of Public Citizen asked if he could become the interim executive director.  Smitty and I have worked together for years, so this was not just music to my ears, it was a symphony.

Then we brought in Janis Bookman, the Earthday lady in Austin, who has a lot of contacts and expertise.

Now we are inviting folks to the Founding Meeting and Reception on April 6th at the Austin Club.

We have put together a board consisting of utility execs, transportation professionals, car and truck manufacturers, transmission companies, and academic heavy weights for UT and Texas A and M.  And thanks to Smitty we have folks who can represent the important equity issues that must be considered.

And thanks to a unique mixture of corporate, private, and foundation commitments, we will have the funding to hire a communication director.

We're hoping for a good crowd at the Austin Club.

Mayor Adler is coming and so is County Commissioner Brigid Shea.

And our guest speaker will be Phil Jones.

Sometimes things come together.

And the Texas Electric Transportation Resources Alliance is almost a thing.

And it needs to be.

Henry Ford built 500 cars in 1905.

He built 500,000 in 1915.

Elon Musk is on the same trajectory.

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