In a prepared response to questions provided by the Current, Senator Ellis wrote that:
“We can't pretend there is no problem. We can't credibly dispute the science that tells us very clearly that the planet is heating up. If Governor Perry doesn't want the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases through the Clean Air Act, he's entitled to that opinion. But I believe the U.S. Supreme Court clarified that EPA has that authority. Greenhouse gases will be regulated. Texas can either be a leader in developing clean energy technologies or we will miss enormous opportunities.”
The Texas Global Warming Solutions Act, refiled by Ellis for the 2009 Legislative Session after a failed effort to get traction in 2007, would create a state commission to make an accounting of all the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and then help craft policy to begin reducing those levels. It would be quite a task. It has been widely reported that if Texas were its own country (as some would still have it, no doubt), it would rank as the world’s eighth-largest emitter.
To bring those levels down, Ellis’ act would have all state agencies required to account for their greenhouse gas contributions and create plans to reduce them. Private industry would also have to begin to monitor and report their releases.
Ellis appears to share the view of San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger that greening the environment can also mean greening the economy.
“If Texas leaders are involved in finding solutions to global warming, our economy could benefit greatly,” said Ellis. “Look at the wind industry that has brought thousands of green jobs and billions of dollars to the state. Texas has the opportunity to be a leader in solar, biomass, geothermal, and carbon capture from fossil fuel plants. We've barely begun to take advantage of the economic benefits of energy efficiency.”
In Alamo City, Hardberger is expected to address residents in his January State of the City address about the progress made by the teams dedicated those past months to forging a sustainable vision for San Antonio's future development.
Considering our state climatologist is absolutely limp on policy, refusing even to push for a meeting with Perry, a committee committed to actually responding to our climate challenges would be a welcome shift.
Perry the Cockroach? What are these fear-mongers trying to say, exactly?