State Legislature Update

Texas UU Justice Ministry. Right now, the Texas Legislature is in full swing, just as Rev. Chuck Freeman, the TxUUJM Director, has been forced to take a medical leave. In his stead, active members of the TxUUJM Board have stepped in. Right now, a primary means of making our voices heard is through action alerts, with quick emails or phone calls you can do from home. If you can take a few minutes to get involved, please let Jerry Wagnon at know, and he will forward these alerts to your inbox.

Sierra Club urges opposition to HB17: Tell your State Representative to oppose HB 17 by Rep. Joe Deshotel, which would prevent Texas cities from incentivizing electric appliances in new construction, and potentially from offering any programs to incentivize electric appliances.

The fracked gas industry wants you to think cities want to rip gas ranges out of houses. That’s not true. No Texas city has suggested forcing residents to change their gas appliances in existing construction. Some cities and local electric utilities are working on provisions so that new construction encourages the use of electric appliances, and new technologies through EV-ready and solar-ready provisions. But let’s face some realities:

-Fracked gas appliances – particularly gas stoves – cause dangerous indoor air pollution. Gas stoves often cause indoor air pollution at levels that would be illegal outside.

-Fracked gas use in homes and businesses is a significant driver of climate change.

-As part of their climate responsibility, cities are looking at ways - in future construction - to lower pollution from fracked gas and encourage the use of electric energy-efficient appliances.

Even if local governments wanted to respond to their constituents' concerns about the inherent problems of fracked gas, the state should not get in the way (as it tends to do these days). Now is the time to tell your State Representative you oppose HB 17.

The fracked gas industry sees you protecting your health as a threat to their bottom line. That’s why they have launched this corporate lobbying blitz in state legislatures across the country to prevent cities from encouraging safer standards for gas appliances and installation of electric appliances in new construction.

See for more information.

Contact your Texas Legislators. To find out your state legislators are and how to contact them, here is a website:

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Meet Our Minister

The Rev. Christian Schmidt is our interim minister, and first became a Unitarian Universalist in this congregation where he was an active member from 2006-2009. He has since served congregations in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and California. His interests include his family (including four little boys he and his wife are raising), sports, and theology.