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For Electric Cooperative Members

Currents

Uplifting News, and an Uprising Revisited

Some of the stuff we looked into while you were reading last month’s issue

Do you resolve, as so many Americans have, to take part in the Energy Star program?

By the Numbers: 8%

University of Scranton research shows that just 8 percent of people keep their New Year’s resolutions. One suggested reason for failure is that we aim too high. Pledging to quit smoking and lose weight at the same time, or keep a cleaner home and give up wine is more than the willpower portion of most human brains can handle. A year ago, yestotexas.com listed this as its No. 1 New Year’s resolution for Texans: Learn to control ourselves around chips and salsa. Yeah, right.

Plan of San Diego Uprising

As the Mexican Revolution raged on 100 years ago, an influx of refugees and radicals across the border led to a movement called the Plan of San Diego, intended to violently liberate Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Colorado from U.S. control.

The plan, supposedly written and signed January 16, 1915, in the South Texas town of San Diego, called for an army of Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, African-Americans and Japanese to execute all white males over the age of 16 as part of the insurrection.

A series of raids connected to the Plan of San Diego disrupted transportation and communication starting July 1915 in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Texas Rangers and U.S. troops stepped in to stop the uprising. In all, about 30 raids from July 1915 to July 1916 led to the deaths of 21 Americans and more than 100 Mexicans.

Astrodome: World’s Largest Indoor Park?

One of the latest proposals for the abandoned Astrodome in Houston comes from Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. In August, he proposed turning the former home of the Astros and Oilers—and the world’s first dome stadium—into “the world’s largest indoor park” and recreation area.

He envisions an air-conditioned facility that could host festivals and other community gatherings, general exercise facilities, hike and bike trails on the upper levels, an amphitheater, a pavilion for concerts and other events, museums and special educational facilities for children, according to the Houston Chronicle. The county-owned Dome also could house sports facilities, such as an archery range or horseshoe pits, he said.

The Dome has seemed destined for demolition since November 2013, when voters rejected a $217 million bond to turn it into a convention and event center.

Energy Star Savings Reaches $300 Billion

The Energy Star program, established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992, has helped consumers and businesses save an estimated $300 billion on utility bills by increasing energy-efficiency standards in more than 70 product categories.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and Touchstone Energy’s Together We Save website have focused on helping electric cooperative members make easy improvements, such as Energy Star appliances and compact fluorescents. A 2013 survey by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency found that 87 percent of households recognized the Energy Star label.

Since its creation, energy efficiencies spawned by the program have mitigated 2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, or the equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 420 million cars, according to EPA. Energy Star-rated products deliver the same or better performance as comparable models while using less energy and saving money, the program says.