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Bill White visits Bay City, supports nuclear power, jobs and education for Texas

By adriana_acosta
Aug. 12, 2010 at 3:12 a.m.


BIO

Name: Bill White

Age: 56

Education: Harvard University and University of Texas School of Law

Occupation: Former mayor of Houston and businessman

Served as U.S. deputy secretary of energy, where he helped diversify national energy supplies and saved more than $1 billion with management reform.

Is an avid cyclist and helped create the Tour De Houston benefiting the Houston Parks and Recreation Department.

He and his wife, Andrea, started the Expectation Graduation program to reduce dropout rates and engaging volunteers to bring dropouts back to school.

Grew up in San Antonio, where both his parents were public school teachers.

BAY CITY - Democrat Bill White is a supporter of nuclear power.

White, former mayor of Houston and candidate for governor, spoke to a full house at Thursday's Bay City Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon.

Texas has a lot to be proud of by having a nuclear power plant like South Texas Project, he said.

"Often, we take for granted the most basic things that include clean water, clean air and electrical power," he said.

The nuclear power plant is a big contributor to Texas power, he said.

If those units were to shut down, it will be a rough time in the Texas heat, he said.

The South Texas Project, near Wadsworth, operates two nuclear reactors. Two more will soon be built.

"My goal as governor would be to make this state the great state of opportunity of the United States of America," he said.

White said Texas has many of the ingredients including hard-working and friendly people.

"We have room to grown, we have an entrepreneurial culture and we believe in free enterprise. We have a business bipartisan political climate," he said.

The only thing lacking in Texas is education and job training for young people, he said.

"Today we compete for good jobs with people all over the planet Earth," he said.

That is a challenge, but Americans should have an opportunity for great jobs for the future in the global economy, he said.

"We've got to plant and not just harvest. And that includes getting people technical and vocational education," he told the audience.

Another challenge facing the state is making sure that state government is run like an efficient 21st century transparent business, rather than a political machine, he said.

Government should run like an efficient customer service organization, he said.

"We need a state government that's clean and honest and draws on the talents of everyone in the community," he explained.

In talking about the future of Texas, everyone should have an opportunity at the American dream, he said.

That will be done by opening the doors to higher education, training people for jobs, efficiently run state government and making good use of taxpayers' dollars, he said.

Ed Halpin, president and chief executive officer for the South Texas Project, said he was encouraged by the support from White on nuclear energy.

"It's a big plus to know that he understands energy and - more specifically - nuclear. He understands clearly that it's an outstanding technology and is incredibly cost efficient," he said.

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