Monday, December 27, 2010

More on EPA Versus Texas on Climate Change Reg Fight

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking control of carbon-emission rules in Texas after Governor Rick Perry rejected new federal regulations intended to combat climate change. The EPA will decide directly on greenhouse-gas permits for companies seeking to build or upgrade power plants and oil refineries in Texas. The EPA’s nationwide carbon rules, imposed under the Clean Air Act, take effect January 2, 2011. Texas is the only state that has refused to implement the new rules.

AAEA supports EPA's regulation of greenhouse gases.  We believe the rules can lead to increased job creation via innovative methods and technologies. These standards will help American companies attract private investment to the clean energy upgrades that make our companies more competitive and create good jobs here at home.

Texas critics believe the rules are unnecessarily burdensome mandates on the state’s energy sector and  threatens hundreds of thousands of Texas jobs.  Business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Republicans and some Democrats in Congress are pushing to halt the EPA’s authority over greenhouse gases.

The EPA’s rules are set to start 13 months after the agency declared carbon-dioxide emissions a danger to public health and welfare. The EPA’s “endangerment finding” followed a Supreme Court ruling in 2007 that the agency has the authority to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act.

According to EPA, most states are prepared to grant the permits starting Jan. 2. Seven have agreed to have the agency issue permits while they revise their programs to accommodate the new rules.

According to Texas EPA, Texas emits about 11 percent of U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions, more than any other state. If Texas were a country it would be the world’s eighth-largest polluter. According to the San Francisco-based Sierra Club, Texas is home to about a fourth of U.S. oil refining capacity and has more coal-fired electrical capacity than any state in the U.S.

The EPA remains in talks with Texas and views federal control of greenhouse-gas permits in the state as a temporary arrangement.

The EPA will propose new standards for utilities by July and for oil refineries by December. Those rules will be made final for power plants by May 2012 and for refineries by November 2012, she said.

The EPA officials said today it’s too early to know what the new rules, known as “new source performance standards” for pollutants under the Clean Air Act, will entail. (Bloomberg Business Week, 12/27/2010)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Texas is making improvements toward sustainability all over the state in education, energy and the environment. Are you doing your part? Get Active. Go Green!


Beginning in January, 2011, the University of Texas at Arlington will offer a Master of Science in Sustainability program in its downtown Dallas location. The one year, 36-hour program, targeted to attorneys, architects, government employees and educators, will focus on the green building (LEED) project, the Energy Star program and high-density development. Full story at UTA.


Through a partnership between the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the University of North Texas in Arlington, four air quality monitors will be installed in North Texas to check for pollution from gas drilling. Full story at TCEQ.


According to a recent report by the Dallas Morning News, electricity prices across Texas are finally below the national average. Now, you can shop for less expensive energy! Full story at Power to Choose.

Get Active. Go Green! with delmetria millener, a freelance writer based in Texas. Contact her at