Texas state lawmakers have introduced bills that would move Texas toward natural gas over alternatives like wind and solar.

Nine bills were introduced that are meant to help manage the state’s power grid and avoid unnecessary power outages. Power outages, such as those experienced in 2021, have prompted lawmakers to consider energy reliability.

“We’re closing in on 50% of our generation portfolio in Texas being renewables, and it certainly has cost advantages, but we have to focus on reliability and resiliency,” said Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown), per Fox 4 News. “We have got to address the operational flexibility and the resource adequacy needed to power Texas into the future to make sure that homes are heated and businesses are powered for years and decades to come.”

Senate Bill 7 would require all wind and solar energy sources to use battery-powered backup generators or come to an agreement with a natural gas plant to help provide electricity if necessary. Similarly, Senate Bill 6 outlines a plan to build backup power plants and is meant to help sustain reliable energy in the instance of a blackout.

“This program is a true backup program,” said Schwertner, per KUT. “That’s why people buy generators for their home. The same reason that Texas needs its own backup generation.”

The remaining seven bills introduced outlined smaller regulations than Senate Bills 6 and 7.

Some critics raised concerns about the impact of the proposals on consumers and the effect on the growing wind and solar industries.

Michael Jewell, who previously worked with then-Gov. George W. Bush on energy, claimed many of these effects could be negative.

“If we focus just on building natural gas generation resources, rather than harnessing the opportunities that are coming down the pipe, we’re going to impose costs on customers that, frankly, are just staggering,” said Jewell, per Fox 4 News.

Jewell went on to say that “if the legislature wants to support the development of new dispatchable generation resources, focus on that in a very proactive way there. But there’s not a need to necessarily to go out and punish the investment that have been made on wind and solar generation and the benefits that that brings to the state as well.”

Doug Lewin, a renewable energy consultant, agreed with Jewell, saying that costs would be expensive for consumers and compared the bills to a tax on energy.

“Any time that you hear a policymaker talking about raising costs on renewables, that’s raising costs on customers,” said Lewin, per The San Antonio-Express News. “Renewables benefit customers, and it’s nothing but a tax on electricity. That’s what it is — a massive tax on electricity that all Texans are going to pay.”