Texas House Committee Misses Biggest Opportunity to Spur Economy, Save Water

EDF statement from John Hall, Texas State Director, Clean Energy

April 28, 2015
Katherine Owens, (512) 691-3447, kowens@edf.org

(AUSTIN – April 28, 2015) The Texas House Committee on Environmental Regulation held a hearing today to discuss competing legislation regarding whether Texas will develop a path to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP), the nation’s first-ever limit on carbon pollution from existing power plants. While one bill would prohibit Texas from complying, another bill, sponsored by Vice Chair Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin), supports compliance and calls for state officials to act. Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) expressed concern that legislation opposing state compliance with the CPP fails to recognize or acknowledge the opportunities that the CPP presents to the state, including saving millions of gallons of water, creating more jobs in the booming clean energy sector, and becoming an energy-exporter to other states. 

 “Texas’ power plants emit more carbon pollution than those in every other state and we use the most electricity in the nation. In spite of these facts, Texas is well on its way to meeting the proposed Clean Power Plan. We’ve done the math. Texas’ abundant clean energy resources, along with the market forces currently at work, are enabling Texas to achieve about 75 percent of its carbon reductions target by 2029 with a business-as-usual model. This spells opportunity for our economy, our water supply, and for the environment.

“Texans want their leaders to embrace the clean energy future – which is well within our grasp. We are encouraged to see Representative Rodriguez propose legislation that would put Texas on a reasonable path forward, and hope other leaders follow suit. If Texas delays, possibly even misses, this opportunity, we risk losing the job creation and water-saving benefits we could realize with a low-carbon energy portfolio. Texas deserves an energy portfolio that takes advantage of our natural, low-cost resources, like wind, solar and natural gas, not Wyoming coal, and one that provides certainty for our business sector. It’s time our state leaders take action and lead Texas’ clean energy economy.”

  • John Hall, Texas State Director, Clean Energy

# # #

Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and our Texas Clean Air Matters blog