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Why This Republican Mayor Spoke at Bernie Sanders’s Climate Town Hall

“The future is working in renewables, and it’s not working in coal,” Dale Ross, the mayor of Georgetown, Texas, tells CityLab.
An oil derrick and wind turbines near Amarillo, Texas.
An oil derrick and wind turbines near Amarillo, Texas.Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Georgetown, Texas, isn’t the biggest city in Texas, or the weirdest, or the bluest. It went solidly for Trump in 2016, and for Romney in 2012. But last year, the Austin exurb became one of the greenest places in the state: It was the first Texan city to convert to 100-percent renewable energy to power its grid, and the largest city in the U.S. so far.*

“We’re at a tipping point right now,” said Dale Ross, the city’s mayor and the unlikely environmentalist who spearheaded Georgetown’s transition. “Coal cannot compete with wind and solar on cost.”