Texas Lawmakers Urged to Take Action on Climate Change

January 22, 2009
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Austin – January 22, 2009) – A report released today presents a case for Texas lawmakers to support legislation positioning the state as a leader in responding to global warming and taking advantage of the opportunities of an emerging clean energy economy.

Texas at a Crossroads: The Case for Addressing Global Warming in Texas, is an Environmental Defense Fund policy summary outlining the immediate need for legislative climate action in Texas and the adverse environmental and economic impacts of inaction.

“While our state leaders are still deliberating the concept of global warming, consensus elsewhere has other states leaping ahead of Texas in attracting new energy investment,” said Jim Marston, EDF director of state climate initiatives. “Billions of dollars are going to companies in other states that have worked to be leaders in addressing climate change and have created markets for clean energy technologies. This puts Texas at a real economic disadvantage.”

Texas is at a crossroads, as the report title describes. It can choose to ignore or deny the problem and wait for the imposition of mandates crafted by others, or it can constructively engage in the federal policy debate while enacting state-based measures to begin reducing emissions, attracting clean technology industries, and proactively preparing for carbon regulations and unavoidable climate impacts.

The report is one of several similar reports providing data and critical analyses supporting Texas' Changing Economic Climate: Risks and Opportunities in a Carbon Constrained Environment, a legislative conference at the state Capitol next week, Jan. 29. The British Consulate General-Houston, in partnership with EDF, will host the event intended to provide Texas legislative, business, and community leaders with insights on how taking early action on climate change can open possibilities for innovative economic frameworks using processes developed in the United Kingdom as a model.