Green, Texas: Texans like to think of themselves as the best. Over the past decade, environmentalists have rated the state No. 1, but not in a good way: number one for per capita energy consumption, major environmental complaints and emission of air pollution and greenhouse gases. What if the state could add a new ranking: No. 1 in green energy. Sound far fetched? It's not, according to Michael Webber, an energy specialist at The University of Texas at Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering and Jackson School of Geosciences, where he is associate director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy.
An interdisciplinary team at The University of Texas at Austin won first place and a $250,000 award in Austin Energy's "National Research Ideas" competition, a contest soliciting proposals for cost-effective ways to integrate utility lines into urban areas while protecting mature trees and promoting future plantings.