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Carbon Regulation Could Be Detrimental To Texas Economy

November 26, 2008

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said on Tuesday that a federal agency’s proposal to regulate carbon dioxide emissions would cripple the economy of the leading energy producing U.S. state.

The Texas Governor asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suppress the urge to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, citing the “devastating implications for Texas’ economy and energy industry.”

Perry told EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson that expansion of EPA regulation would create “massive costs” and the “certainty that the proposed regulation will fail to achieve the intended goals.”

A landmark Supreme Court decision in 2007 has pressured the EPA to take steps to regulate greenhouse gas and reconsider its refusal to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from new cars and trucks. Carbon dioxide is the primary gas blamed for global warming.

The state of Texas supplies 20 percent of the nation’s oil production, one-third of its natural gas production, one-quarter of the nation’s refining capacity and nearly two-thirds of its chemical manufacturing capacity.

Perry released a statement saying: “Implementing such regulations would cripple the Texas’ energy sector, irreparably damaging both the state and national economies, and severely impacting national oil and gas supplies.”

Perry said despite its traditional oil-and-gas image, Texas also has more installed emission-free wind generation than any other U.S. state and has attracted proposals for three new nuclear plants, more than any other state.

“Costly regulation that reduces our ability to provide energy and other products to the nation will have a disproportionate impact on Texas,” the Governor said.

But on Tuesday, environmental and consumer groups called on Perry to stop criticizing carbon regulation efforts, and come up with a state plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while adding jobs and cutting energy prices.

Cyrus Reed of the Sierra Club’s Lone Star Chapter issued a press release stating: “Global warming regulation is coming and that is why it is important that the governor work with the Legislature to get ready.”

However, Tom “Smitty” Smith, head of Public Citizen’s Texas Office, said increased renewable power, improved energy efficiency measures and better pollution control would generate 123,000 more jobs than we would lose by regulating and cutting global warming emissions.

Perry requested a report to estimate the costs to regulate carbon dioxide by the Texas environmental agency at $40 million to $80 million a year.

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