The climate bond pushback

Should Austin hold off on another bond?

The climate bond pushback
The Pink Gorilla at Anderson Square, which will hopefully survive the massive shopping center's eventual transformation into a dense, mixed-use development.

The push from some Council members for an environmentally-focused bond measure this fall is facing resistance from a group that can typically be counted on to support similar efforts.

Austin Outside, an advocacy group led by Ted Siff, the éminence grise of city and county bond campaigns over the past 30 years, released a statement today endorsing the Environmental Investment Plan put forth by CM Ryan Alter but did not endorse putting a bond on the ballot this year to fund it. Instead, the group advised the city to conduct a "thorough return-on-investment analysis of each proposed project" and to fund high ROI projects with either utility fees or a potential future "climate fee."

The group did not explicitly oppose a bond measure, but it noted that the city already has a "$1.7 billion backlog of authorized but unissued general obligation bonds from prior elections."