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My Interview with Jerry Patterson, Commissioner, Texas General Land Office during the recent Texas Israel Chamber’s Cleanovation Conference

I have a biblical theory that I can’t prove, but here goes:  God created two very special and holy places on the same day- Texas and Israel.   There’s even a Facebook group for those who believe that on the 8th day, God created Texas.

That aside, there is something special about Texas and Israel.

Both states are doing very cool things in alternative energy and here is why I think Israeli alternative energy and water technologies should be looking to Texas as a place for their beta sites.  Texas has lots of land and water to experiment on.  And Texas is easier than other States to do business in.  Just  listen to what Jerry Patterson, Commissioner, Texas General Land Office has to say during the Texas Israel Chamber of Commerce’s Cleanovation conference in Austin.  

Follow Gerry’s lead where he talks about Texas being in the energy business.  It’s not a metaphor or a cute tag line. It’s very real.  Hop over to Israel and you’ll find an emerging energy industry there as well.  Both States (yup, the State of Israel and the State of Texas) have a very unique entrepreneurial culture and energy.

Merge the energy of the two States, and you have some very compelling intellectual and monetary combustion in the works.


Jerry’s office helps manage the state lands and mineral-right properties totaling 20.3 million acres in Texas. Included in that portfolio are the beaches, bays, estuaries and other “submerged lands” out to 10.3 miles in the Gulf of Mexico, institutional acreage, grazing lands in West Texas, and timberlands in East Texas.

In managing that property, the GLO issues oil and gas leases and surface leases and sells state land.  Sale and lease proceeds from Permanent School Fund lands go into the Permanent School Fund. The dividends and interest from the Permanent School fund investments go into the Available School Fund, and from there money is distributed to school districts on a per-pupil basis, helping to offset local property taxes. Since the Permanent School Fund was established in 1854, the GLO has deposited into it more than $6.8 billion, mostly from oil and gas leases and real estate sales and trades.

If you wanna figure out how to do business with Texas and Israel, mosey on over to the Chamber’s site, where their awesome team in Dallas can help you get your brain in gear and the ball rolling.

And yes, Israel’s got lots of cool things going on in energy where you can learn from here, here, or here.

1 Comment

  1. The GLO is hugely important to renewable energy projects because there’s so much gov’t land to be used. I made that connection when I attended a public comment session for Austin Energy’s 2020 generation plan. When someone asked about using wave energy, Mike McCloskey, the COO of Austin Energy said, “I wouldn’t even know where to begin to find the person to get rights to do something like that.”The following month I heard Jerry Patterson speak at a cleantech conference and he said, “If someone wanted to do a wave energy deal, they need to come to me and I’ll lease them the land.”Patterson’s a key player in large scale cleantech projects in Texas.


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