AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today underscored the need to pursue innovative energy sources as an alternative to the burdensome regulations associated with proposed federal cap and trade legislation that would increase the cost of living for Texas families and crush Texas and the nation’s energy producing sectors.
The governor spoke at a discussion hosted by the Public Utility Commission of Texas, Texas Railroad Commission and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
“The energy taxes associated with the Waxman-Markey Bill will make every product that uses energy more expensive, forcing hard-working Texans to bear substantial new costs, and kicking a hole in our state’s economic strength,” Gov. Perry said. “At a time when nationwide unemployment is pushing double digits and families across the country and our state are dealing with the loss of a paycheck, we need to be looking for ways to hold down the cost of living, not increase it.”
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.
“Texas has shown that you don’t need the federal government to intrude on individual rights and freedoms to foster the next generation of energy technology while improving our environment in ways that positively impact our air cleanliness and public health,” Gov. Perry said.
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. Diversifying the state’s energy portfolio remains a priority for Gov. Perry.
To view the governor’s full remarks, please visit http://governor.state.tx.us/news/speech/13675/.