Texas will have a favorite state bulb — a light bulb — along with a state flower and a state song if mayors of five large Texas cities have their way.
To kick off a statewide campaign to get residents to replace old light bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs, Texas mayors vowed to launch an effort to make the bulbs available, to encourage their use and to suggest that people give them as gifts for Christmas or other occasions.
"Individual Texans can save themselves money and also take a lot of pressure off of utilities to not have to construct very, very expensive and polluting power plants," said Austin Mayor Will Wynn.
Mayors said use of compact fluorescent bulbs may help reduce electric demand from power plants that emit carbon dioxide, a gas blamed for global warming.
Also attending the Energy Conservation Summit called by San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger were Houston Mayor Bill White, Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and El Paso Mayor John Cox.
Lighting up the state
The mayors declared the compact fluorescent the "State Bulb of Texas" and took turns turning on the bulbs in sockets marking their cities in a huge granite map of Texas.
"Energy conservation starts at home," said Cox, who said if every Texas household converted a single light bulb to a CFL, it would mean the equivalent in air pollution reduction of removing 55,000 cars from city streets.