In the past I have stated that I believe in the promise of a bright and balanced energy future for Texas powered by abundant resources and driven by Texas pride and ingenuity. My belief remains steadfast however lurking on the horizon is a dark storm cloud known as Cap and Trade, (Waxman-Markey bill) or what I would like to refer to as “Crap-N-Charade.”
Putting aside the argument validating the science of global warming, this so called noble venture (legislation) masquerades as environmentally sensitive with a stated purpose of protecting the Earth from mankind. Cap and Trade is a creation of lawmakers based on a lie and a flawed understanding of the connections between carbon-dioxide emissions and climate change. The true reality is if this legislation is passed and signed into law it would be a major blow to Texas and could only be viewed as a punitive course of action for all energy producers.
According to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Texas leads the nation in energy production producing more crude oil, natural gas, electricity and wind power than any other state. Texas also leads in consumption, accounting for 11.5% of the energy use in 2005. With that said the next logical question would be what does “Cap and Trade” legislation mean for me and my fellow Texans? The answer is higher energy costs and the loss of jobs.
In a recent analysis conducted by the Texas Comptroller’s office in partnership with the Center for Energy Economics at the University of Texas-Bureau of Economic Geology, Texas could see as many as 135,000 to 277,000 fewer jobs by 2012 and 400,000 fewer jobs by 2030, with a resulting decline in gross state product of $20 billion dollars. Additionally, The Heritage Foundation found in one of its recent studies, that during the timeframe of 2012 to 2035 Texas would see a massive decline in its gross state product as well as a $9.187 million dollar reduction in the personal income of Texans. Texas would also see an increase in gasoline prices of $0.62 per gallon as well as an increase in electricity prices of $890.59 per household in the same timeframe. I don’t know about you, but $890 dollars even in a good economy is a lot of money, especially to Texans working from paycheck to paycheck.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, the real goal should be to balance and blend the responsible utilization of energy resources while maintaining a strong vibrant economy and protecting private property rights, not protecting a debatable ideology. The fact is any comprehensive energy plan must utilize all of the tools in the states energy toolbox, fossil fuels and alternatives energy. A clear view shared by Scott Tinker, the Texas state geologist. He stated in a recent article by Dave Michaels in the Dallas Morning News “We must get away from these either or choices; fossil fuels or alternative energy or the environment, and work them together as we build a bridge to the future."
In an economy that is screaming for assistance and a population hungry for jobs, what we really need out of Washington is a real and balanced approach to energy, not additional taxes or more hands reaching into the pockets of hard working Texans.