Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry: Proposed EPA Rules Will Cripple Texas Economy

Tuesday, November 25, 2008  •  Austin, Texas  •  Press Release

Gov. Rick Perry today strongly urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against passing a proposed framework for regulating greenhouse gas emissions due to its devastating implications for Texas’ economy and energy industry.

“The EPA is making plans to re-interpret the Federal Clean Air Act in ways that were never contemplated when this law was passed and will cripple the Texas economy,” said Gov. Perry.  “The methods under consideration by the EPA will punish innovation, cost jobs and drive investment out of Texas and overseas.”

The EPA’s proposed regulations would for the first time subject large swaths of the economy to costly and time consuming regulation and permitting, including commercial buildings, churches, small farms, hotels, hospitals, and even large residential homes while having a negligible effect on worldwide concentrations of greenhouse gases.

As the nation’s leading energy producer, 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. Further, the governor noted that imposing a large tax burden on energy producing companies would drive them out of the U.S. to countries that do not have burdensome restrictions, counteracting the regulations’ desired effects.

Rather than adopting the EPA’s suggestion to make traditional energy sources more expensive, the governor proposed 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’ energy industry fuels the nation, supplying 20 percent of the nation’s oil production, one-third 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.

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 three countries, and provided new transmission lines that will move more than 18,000 megawatts across the state- more than 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.

The governor’s comments to the EPA are based on findings by the Texas Advisory Panel on Federal Environmental Regulations, which was created earlier this month to study the economic impact to Texas of the EPA’s proposed rules. Members of the panel include Bryan Shaw, commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Barry Smitherman, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Texas, and Railroad Commission Chairman Michael Williams.
“I am calling on the EPA to suppress the urge to regulate and include greenhouse gases in the Clean Air Act and find ways to unleash our economy, not strangle it,” Gov. Perry said.

Attached File: Governor's Letter to the EPA
Report to the Governor

Gov. Rick Perry strongly urges the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against passing a proposed framework for regulating greenhouse gas emissions due to its devastating implications for Texas’ economy and energy industry, and the Texas Advisory Panel on Federal Environmental Regulations, consisting of Bryan W. Shaw (Commissioner, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality), Barry T. Smitherman (Chairman, Texas Public Utility Commission), and Michael L. Williams (Chairman, Texas Railroad Commission) presents findings to back Gov. Perry's comments.

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