Senate Bill 184: No Regrets
March 15, 2009
SB 184 calls on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to develop and present a report to the legislature by December 31, 2010, recommending strategies to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by businesses and consumers of this state.
The bill is limited to consideration of emissions reductions strategies that will ultimately result in a net financial savings, or at least no financial cost to the businesses and consumers.
The bill is called “no regrets” because even if you believe humans activity does not impact climate change, the worst case is that the evaluation will identify ways for Texas businesses and consumers to save money.
The bill gives TCEQ discretion to set up advisory committees and directs the commission to look at programs implemented by other states and in other countries.
Texas needs to be proactive in this arena for a number of reasons:
- First, more than any state in the country, the Texas economy will be impacted by federal regulation of greenhouse gases. If Texas is proactive in evaluating strategies to reduce greenhouse gases, and is proactive in a way that prioritizes consideration of strategies that will not have a negative impact on the bottom line, we will be in a good position to influence federal regulations that may not consider the financial impact to businesses or consumers in our state. As a state, we will identify and prioritize the low-hanging fruit, and we will curb our carbon emissions while maintaining a strong economy.
- Second, Texas is on the global radar with regard to greenhouse gas emissions. If Texas was its own county, we would rank eighth in the world for carbon emissions. For this reason alone, Texas is justified in coming up with its own strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Finally, there is a great cost of inaction that will be noticeable in several ways. Consider the costs to the state of Texas in the past several years from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Dolly and Ike. Furthermore, the longer we delay action, the more carbon that collects in our atmosphere, and the challenge of reversing that trend becomes more complex and expensive.
Because of our impact on the global economy and the global environment, Texas is in a unique position to be a real leader in greenhouse gas reduction. SB 184 says we look first to strategies that also save money, helping business, consumers and the environment.
© 2020 Kirk Watson Texas Senator All Rights Reserved
Political advertisement paid for by Kirk Watson Campaign,
P.O. Box 2004, Austin, TX, 78768; Rosie Mendoza,Treasurer.