AUSTIN Ã¯Â¿Â½ Gov. Rick Perry stated his concern about the impact of proposed cap and trade legislation and possible regulation of CO2 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Texas' energy industry and economy.
The governor hosted a roundtable discussion with state and industry leaders to discuss their concerns about the proposed regulations.
"The threat to our energy industry and economy as a whole comes from the Waxman-Markey energy bill, which emphasizes cap and trade agreements and would end up being the largest tax increase in the history of our country. Equally as concerning are the EPA's efforts to have CO2 identified as a toxic substance, naming it and other natural gases such as methane a threat to public health," Gov. Perry said.
"We are in trouble if a federal agency is free to impose burdensome regulations in a way that harms family farms, job-creating factories and even large buildings such as hospitals and churches. These two key factors have serious implications for our state, economy, and citizens, who will have to stretch their dollars to pay more for energy in a time of tight budgets for no clear benefit to public health."
Implementing these regulations would 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. The Texas energy industry employs nearly 375,000 Texans with $35 billion in total wages.
The governor noted that the federal government is conducting hearings on the regulations, none of which are in the south or near Texas, the nation's energy capitol.
Rather than adopting the EPA's suggestion to make traditional energy sources more expensive, Gov. Perry has 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.
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 or use the carbon dioxide to increase production from Texas oil fields.
The governor was joined by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, Public Utility Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Commissioner Bryan Shaw and representatives from industry leaders from across the state for the discussion.