Carbon regulation could "cripple" Texas: Perry

HOUSTON, TEXAS - Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that the economy of the leading energy producing U.S. state would be "crippled" by a federal agency's proposal to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.

Perry urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "to suppress the urge" to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, citing the "devastating implications for Texas' economy and energy industry."

Responding to the EPA's proposed greenhouse gas rule-making under the Clean Air Act, Perry said in a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson that expansion of EPA regulation would create "massive costs" and the "certainty that the proposed regulation will fail to achieve the intended goals."

The EPA has been under pressure to take steps to regulate greenhouse gas since a landmark 2007 Supreme Court decision that it must reconsider its refusal to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from new cars and trucks. Carbon dioxide is the primary gas blamed for global warming.

Texas supplies 20 percent of the nation's oil production, one-third of its natural gas production, one-quarter of the nation's refining capacity and nearly two-thirds of its chemical manufacturing capacity.

"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," Perry said in a statement.

Despite its traditional oil-and-gas image, Texas also has more installed emission-free wind generation than any other U.S. state and has attracted proposals for three new nuclear plants, more than any other state, Perry said.

"Costly regulation that reduces our ability to provide energy and other products to the nation will have a disproportionate impact on Texas," Perry said.

Meanwhile, environmental and consumer groups called on Perry to stop criticizing carbon regulation efforts, and come up with a state plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while adding jobs and cutting energy prices.

"Global warming regulation is coming and that is why it is important that the governor work with the Legislature to get ready," said Cyrus Reed of the Sierra Club's Lone Star Chapter, in a press release.

Increased renewable power, improved energy efficiency measures and better pollution control would "generate 123,000 more jobs than we would lose by regulating and cutting global warming emissions," said Tom "Smitty" Smith, head of Public Citizen's Texas Office.

A report requested by Perry estimated costs to regulate carbon dioxide by the Texas environmental agency at $40 million to $80 million a year.


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