EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The El Paso Chamber released a study done by Points Consulting of Moscow, Idaho, that identifies the potential impact and loss of jobs El Paso faces if the climate charter is passed this May.
The proposed climate charter offers suggestions on how to reduce city emmissions, investing in renewable energy and establishing a climate department. It also proposes for El Paso Electric to fall into the city’s ownership.
Executive director of Eco El Paso Joshua Simmons explains that if the charter is voted in it could bring more renewable energy sources to the Borderland.
“It’s something that’s been lacking here in El Paso, particularly with the scarcity of the natural resources that we have. It only makes sense that we are conscious and adapting and taking control of the governmental level and how we use those resources.”
However, the study from the Chamber suggests that if approved the charter would cost El Paso over 170,000 jobs, $7.9 billion in earnings, and $28.2 billion in sales by 2030. That will continue to rise by 2045, with a loss of 198,000 jobs, $9.2 billion in earnings and $32.8 billion in sales, according to the study.
This will then amount to a 40.8 percent decrease in El Paso County’s economy, at an average loss of $38,800 in earnings per household, according to the study.
El Paso Chamber CEO Andrea Hutchins worries that El Pasoans do not fully understand what could potentially happen if this is passed.
“I just don’t think it was well thought out in a way where folks are completely understanding some of the stipulations of the charter plan itself that call for certain things to be done immediately,” she said.
However, Simmons believes that the cost does not outweigh the overall results
“I guess there will be losses but currently right now you know as a species and a society we’re seeing the need for pivital change and that change comes unfortunately at the loss of fossil fuels’ grip hold on our daily lives.”
While Simmons does understand the potential consequences with this charter, he believes making El Paso more sustainable exceeds the losses.
“We want to ensure that again following through with what the City of El Paso has put as their mission is to ensure that we are the least fossil fuel dependent city going forward and this charter amendment allows us to do that,” he said.
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