On Monday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a 645-page proposed rule to regulate greenhouse gas emissions on existing power plants. This EPA regulation would mandate that the country’s power plants collectively reduce by 30 percent below 2005 levels their greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
This proposed rule could have a serious economic impact on Texas. Under the plan, Texas will have three years to cut the carbon footprint of its power plants by 39 percent, which will be a costly process. The rule primarily affects CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants. Texas is the fifth largest producer of coal in the nation and six of Texas’ 10 largest power plants are coal-fired. My concern is that Texas consumers will see their energy prices increase because of this climate change regulation.
That is why in May I joined with 29 of my colleagues from the Texas Congressional delegation, both Republicans and Democrats, in writing a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy expressing our shared concerns with this proposed regulation.
In our letter to Administrator McCarthy we made the point that Texas leads the nation in population growth and electricity demand. With a robust manufacturing base -- and as the leading producer of oil, gas, and petrochemical -- our state is an economic engine for the nation. Given such growth and potential, we believe the EPA should recognize that Texans require an all-of-the-above approach to power generation, not one that will raise the cost of electricity by selectively targeting certain types of fossil fuels.
Additionally, the EPA has circumvented Congress during this rule-making process illustrating another example of executive branch overreach by the current Administration. Members from both sides of the aisle agree that major changes to environmental policy should be dealt with through the legislative process, not an unelected bureaucracy in Washington.
Member of Congress
June 5, 2014