Op-Ed: Texas Should Lead, Not Litigate, on Clean Power

A Houston Chronicle business columnist argues in defense of the Obama Administration's new environmental rules.
August 18, 2015, 8am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Chris Tomlinson writes an op-ed calling for the state government of Texas to support the Clean Power Plan recently announced by the U.S. Environmental Protect Agency. A string of rhetorical question introduces the topic by bringing it close to home: "Do you want your children one day working in a coal mine? Or how about a job washing and pulverizing coal? Or maybe operating the machinery that feeds coal into boilers?"

Tomlinson describes the Clean Power Plan as effective (i.e., it "would likely cut by half our reliance on coal to generate electricity in 2030 when compared with 2005) as well as incremental (i.e., " We're a fifth of the way there already, and the new mandates aren't even in force yet).

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, however, has promised to fight the plan in federal court, thus inspiring the op-ed from Tomlinson, who notes the conservative political arguments that the Clean Power Rule is a threat to liberty that over-steps the original intent of the federal Clean Air Act. Tomnlinson's response to that argument: "The 2,500-page Clean Power Plan is neither the answer to environmentalists' prayers nor a socialist takeover of the economy. It actually empowers states to develop their own plans to limit the amount of carbon dioxide produced per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated."

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Published on Tuesday, August 4, 2015 in Houston Chronicle
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