James Cargas has dedicated his life and professional career to implementing smart, sustainable, affordable, and renewable energy. New Energy LLC reflects his persistence and commitment through its smart energy advice and the creation of sustainable solutions for its public and commercial clients.
Before founding New Energy LLC, James was the Senior Assistant City Attorney for Energy at the City of Houston from 2008 to 2019. Mayor Bill White hired him as the City’s energy counsel responsible for all aspects of energy as well as some environmental, real estate, regulatory, and transactional matters. During the Recession, James facilitated the weatherization of over 13,000 low- and modest-income homes resulting in each family realizing $60 to $125 in monthly savings. He similarly saved taxpayers millions from energy efficiency projects on City facilities, and by negotiating lower cost of energy procured.
While serving Mayor Annise Parker, James negotiated an innovative three-party, twenty-year, 50-megawatt solar power purchase agreement. More recently, he served Mayor Sylvester Turner, where he earned Houston the #8 spot on EPA’s top 100 list of green power users and #1 municipal green power purchaser in the US. He also implemented a wide variety of energy efficiency projects. During his tenure at the City, James reduced the City’s annual electricity budget from $120M to $90M, while increasing its green power to 95%.
James graduated from the University of Michigan in 1988 and served Michigan Congressman David E. Bonior as Deputy Press Secretary. In 1992, he graduated from The American University’s Washington College of Law where he served as President of the Environmental Law Society. During law school, he worked in the Solicitor’s Office at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In the summer of 1992, he participated in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro – the first Earth Summit.
James subsequently held positions in a large DC law firm and as environmental counsel to a major interstate pipeline company. In 1998, he left the private sector to join the Clinton-Gore White House at the President’s Council on Sustainable Development. He finished out the Administration’s term working for Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson and former Public Utility Commission of Texas Chair Bob Gee at the U.S. Department of Energy. When Bill Richardson returned to New Mexico to become Governor, James moved to the nation’s Energy Capital to become Deputy Director of the North American Energy Standards Board.
His commitment to our community includes serving as a board member at the Citizens Environmental Coalition, Vice President of the American Hellenic Education Progressive Association (AHEPA) Chapter No. 29, Fellow at the Texas Bar Foundation, and Treasurer of the Energy and Environmental Democrats. He is the former President of the Energy Bar Association’s Houston Chapter. When James ran for the United States Congress in 2012, 2014, and 2016 in Houston’s Energy Corridor, he earned a Houston Chronicle’s endorsement each time.
James is admitted to practice law in Texas, Washington DC, Michigan, West Virginia, and the United States Supreme Court.
My LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescargas