Vol 31, Issue 47 Print Issue

Perry Slams EPA's Carbon Dioxide Emissions Proposal

Texas Governor Rick Perry attends groundbreaking ceremony for Teletón USA CRIT children's rehabilitation center in San Antonio, Texas. He is joined but Teletón founder, Fernando Landeros, Univision President Cesar Conde and Mayor of San Antonio, Julián Castro on August 6th, 2013
Texas Governor Rick Perry attends groundbreaking ceremony for Teletón USA CRIT children's rehabilitation center in San Antonio, Texas. He is joined but Teletón founder, Fernando Landeros, Univision President Cesar Conde and Mayor of San Antonio, Julián Castro on August 6th, 2013

Gov. Rick Perry has responded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule, announced Monday, to slash carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s power plants by 30 percent by 2030 — the Obama administration’s most sweeping effort to address the impacts of climate change.

No surprise: Perry is not a fan. 

“President Obama’s decision to impose drastic new restrictions on America’s energy industry is the most direct assault yet on the energy providers that employ thousands of Americans, and fuel both our homes and our nation’s economic growth,” Perry said in a statement. “If President Obama is truly interested in an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, he would do well to look to states like Texas that have seen tremendous success at diversifying energy sources while protecting the environment from harmful pollutants.”

The statement largely echoes the thoughts of 29 members of Texas’ congressional delegation — including some Democrats — who last week voiced their opposition to the proposal in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

The proposal — which environmental and health advocates say will help fight climate change and boost public health — uses 2005 as the baseline for the emissions reduction, meaning that the U.S. is already about halfway toward the goal. That’s largely because of cheap natural gas and lower energy demand during the recession.

The rule would set specific targets for Texas and other states, giving them broad flexibility to achieve those goals. 

In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the EPA must regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act, if the greenhouse gas were considered to threaten public health. Two years later, the agency, echoing the majority of experts, decided that it does.