Washington Should Follow Texas' Lead on Alternative Energy
Gov. Rick Perry recently met with business and industry leaders to discuss the impact of proposed cap and trade legislation in Washington. The governor emphasized the importance of diversifying the state's energy portfolio by pursuing innovative energy sources as an alternative to the burdensome regulations associated with proposed federal cap and trade legislation, which would increase the cost of living for Texas families and crush Texas and the nation's energy producing sectors.
"Texas has shown you don't need federal mandates to improve the environment or foster the next generation of energy technology," Gov. Perry said. "Rather than emulate Texas' success, Washington seems determined to cripple our economy by imposing sweeping mandates and draconian regulation. Texans should be wary about a cap-and-trade bill that would not only impose the largest tax hike in the history of the United States, but also inject the federal government further into every Texas home, farm and workplace."
Implementing the regulations associated with the Waxman- Markey Bill, also known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act, would be the single largest tax increase in U.S. history, significantly increasing the cost of living for all Texas families by an additional $1,200 per year, according to the comptroller. Additionally, a study by Texas A&M University suggests that virtually all Texas ranchers and farmers would be negatively impacted by the bill.
This bill would also cripple Texas' energy sector, irreparably damaging both the state and national economies and severely impacting national oil and gas supplies. Texas' energy industry fuels the nation, supplying 20 percent of the nation's oil production, one-fourth of the nation's natural gas production, a quarter of the nation's refining capacity, and nearly 60 percent of the nation's chemical manufacturing. Additionally, Texas' energy industry employs 200,000 to 300,000 Texans, with $35 billion in total wages.
Rather than adopting this misguided legislation or allowing the EPA to overly regulate every sector of the economy, Gov. Perry has proposed that the federal government follow Texas' lead by making alternative energy technologies less expensive, thereby encouraging widespread commercial use and removing barriers to innovation and competition. Modernizing the national energy grid to support wind and solar energy transmission, facilitating investments in the development of carbon capture and sequestration technologies, and removing barriers to investment in nuclear generation would reduce carbon emissions while encouraging competitiveness, innovation and growth in alternative energy sources.
Diversifying the state's energy portfolio remains a priority for Gov. Perry. Texas has already installed more wind power than any other state and all but four countries, and is developing new transmission lines that will move more than 18,000 megawatts across the state - nearly as much as all other states' current capacity combined. Texas has also attracted more than 9,000 megawatts of energy from the development of next generation nuclear power plants. The state is also looking to add new clean coal plants, which will capture and sequester carbon dioxide emissions or use the carbon dioxide to increase production from Texas oil fields.