The Apoca-List: A look back at things that pushed us closer to oblivion in 2012, and a few that may have drawn us back from the brink.
Published: December 26, 2012
It's not comprehensive immigration reform, nor is it a path to citizenship. But undocumented students — who, regardless of your views on immigration, did nothing wrong when their parents brought them into the country illegally as children — will no longer be thrown into immigrant detention centers and deported. Obama's deferred-action policy, announced this summer, also provides renewable two-year work permits for such DREAM Act-eligible immigrants.
That doesn't take away from the sting when Republicans file DREAM-like bills that don't offer a path to citizenship, when Mitt Romney utters "self-deportation," or when Congressman Lamar Smith rails on about "amnesty." Nor does it hide Obama's clear political motivations behind announcing the policy when he did.
But it's a long way from where our San Antonio student hunger strikers started in late 2010. As undocumented student Pamela Resendiz told us earlier this year, "Now, my fellow DREAMers can go to bed and not think that they might get deported at any minute."
Here in Texas, our dominant party issues dire warnings about protecting the fossil-fuel industry from "extreme environmentalists," while making the abolishment of the Environmental Protection Agency a party platform point (literally).
San Antonio continues to stand in stark contrast, both in rhetoric and in practice. While Castro had his "Climate Change Awareness" month in 2011, this year CPS Energy inked a historic 400-kilowatt power-purchase agreement with South Korea-based OCI Solar Power, sealing the country's largest-ever solar project by a city-owned utility.
Under the 25-year deal, OCI will open a plant to manufacture solar panels and components, creating an estimated 800 permanent jobs with salaries of about $47,000 — a $100 million local investment, CPS says. And by moving OCI's North American and manufacturing headquarters to the Alamo City, there are hopes OCI, once it produces panels for the 400-megawatt solar farm, will boost production beyond San Antonio's needs, feeding the North and South American markets.
The move further seals San Antonio's place as the solar city, where leaders are willing to deploy solar on a scale that could actually begin to edge us away from fossil fuels, all the while creating jobs and reducing greenhouse gases, water consumption and air pollution.
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