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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Alternative Energy Strategies: The Crystal City Experience After The Coastal Gas Shut-Off
Program #
Politics, Society

Social Issues
Linda Fregoso
Pablo Aguillon, Pleny Fisk
Aug 1, 1980

Alternative Energy Strategies: the Crystal City Experience after the Coastal Gas shut-off

Guest Pleny Fisk discusses his work with Crystal City and their efforts to build alternative technologies that can solve the energy crisis caused by the Coastal Gas cut-off in 1977. Pablo Aguillon then talks about how local residents have responded to the new measures. Fisk, an architect and the head of Maximum Potential Building Systems, explains that he is working to help free Crystal City from its dependence on outside energy sources. To do so, his group tries to work with renewable resources available locally. Fisk also discusses some of the negative consequences of globalization and explains that his organization develops technology that helps rural regions opt out of multiregional dependence while addressing the need for conservation.

In Crystal City, Fisk has worked with Raza officials to install over 900 stoves that can help warm houses and heat water. He then discusses the city’s efforts to produce solar collectors locally. He hopes the local factory will eventually turn into a cooperative solar utility. Fisk believes that government aid encourages dependency, and that without it Crystal City has been able to develop innovative, sustainable and affordable ways to address the energy crisis.

Aguillon, of the Community Agency for Self-Help, then talks about how the community has implemented Fisk’s plans and how local residents have adapted to the situation. He also explains how his organization helped select the families that receive the solar collectors.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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