Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today released the following statement regarding President Trump’s executive order for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to review their Waters of the United States rule. Farmers, ranchers and agriculture workers in Texas and throughout the country opposed the rule, which the Obama administration completed in 2015:
“We welcome President Trump’s action today and are reviewing his executive order,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The Obama administration’s illegal federal overreach on the ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule poses a burden to Texas property owners and others whose land would be subject to new EPA regulations. We were encouraged when the 6th Circuit sided with our lawsuit in issuing a nationwide stay against the rule in 2015. And this order by the Trump administration is a significant step toward repealing the Rule and getting the American economy back on track.”
Last year Paxton warned that the results of the Obama’s EPA “Carbon Rule” program, Texas was faced with higher electricity costs and less reliability “while doing little to nothing to affect the environment.”
“This program will result in the premature retirement of existing power plants, damaging the reliability of our electric grid, and resulting in significantly higher energy costs for businesses and consumers alike,” Paxton stated in 2016. “Overregulation stifles growth, kills existing jobs and hinders the creation of new ones. That’s why we fight, and that’s why we’ll continue to fight back against the EPA’s Carbon Rule.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who has been studying compliance costs for the Carbon Rule, indicate Texas taxpayers will have to come up with more than $28 billion annually through 2030 to pay for the plan.
Critics point out that Texas’ costs due to EPA required reductions would be enormously out of proportion compared to other states.
The studies show that Texas produces 11 percent of the electricity in the United States, but “would be required to contribute 18 percent of the overall national reduction. In order to meet that mandate, Texas would have to slash carbon emissions by 38 percent.”
Texas has confirmed that it can clean its air without abolishing the energy sector. The Attorney General’s office cited that the State reduced emissions by almost twice as much as states “such as California” from 2000 to 2010.
Paxton referred to facts that show that in the last 15 years of fast population and economic growth, nitrogen oxide and ozone levels are down and Texans are breathing cleaner air.