State Policies and Programs
Texas is a unique state. Its enormous size, diverse population and vast natural resources have shaped its strong economic foundation today. State leaders have actively developed policies and programs supporting reliable and affordable energy to ensure a competitive and strong economy for future generations of Texans.
These efforts aim to keep an eye on programs that could impact Texas, enhance development of clean energy technology, support new sources of renewable energy, improve energy efficiency and assist businesses in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Looking To the Future
As one of the top five states with a high percentage of gross state product based in energy-intensive sectors and the second-most populous state, the current plan to implement mandatory emissions cap will weigh far more on Texas than other regions of the country. As the chief steward for the state’s finances, the Comptroller of Public Accounts is closely monitoring and analyzing current legislative and administrative proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as these initiatives to determine possible impacts to our economy and the state’s budget. These efforts are being shared with Congress as they develop legislation impacting our nation.
- View Comptroller letter to U.S. Senator John Cornyn (PDF).
- View Comptroller letter to U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (PDF).
The Comptroller’s office is also coordinating information with other state agencies to determine impacts to the agencies and their constituents. The following are examples of actions other agencies are taking in reviewing these proposals.
- Texas policymakers recently participated in a Federal Climate Change Legislation Summit.
- Texas Railroad Commissioners shared concerns with Senator John Cornyn and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.
- Governor Rick Perry hosted a roundtable discussion to learn more about how the current proposals could industries in our state.
- The Public Utility Commission requested an analysis from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) on the impact of federal proposals to electricity prices. The ERCOT report found a typical consumer could see an increase in their monthly bill by $27.
- The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is providing information on the impact these proposals can have on the state’s farmers and ranchers. View TDA letter to U.S. House Representative Joe Barton (PDF).
Supporting Renewable Energy
The state of Texas is actively supporting our state’s growing role as a leader in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Our state has the resources and technical expertise to take advantage of increase use of a wide variety of renewable energy sources. A recent report by the Pew Research Center identified Texas as a leader in creating clean energy jobs. Employment in the emerging field has grown 15.5 percent in the past decade.
In 1999, Texas created a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that requires electricity providers engaged in the competitive market to acquire a minimum amount of electricity from renewable energy sources. These include solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas, geothermal, hydroelectric, wave and tidal energy. By 2006, the state had exceeded the initial goal for Texas power generators to install 2,880 MW of generating capacity from renewable energy by 2009. Subsequently, the state’s RPS increased to 5,880 MW of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2015 and established a state goal of 10,000 MW by 2025. This goal represents 14 percent of ERCOT’s currently installed generation capacity.
The Texas Bioenergy Council was just established during the 81st Legislative Session to develop a road map for success for our state’s bioenergy industry. The council will have a diverse membership to provide a holistic approach to move from feedstock to fuel and to take biofuels from development to commercialization.
These are just two examples of the wide variety of programs in the state to further develop renewable energy production. View additional information on renewable energy sources.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) was established in 2001 to help improve and maintain good air quality in areas throughout the state. The focus of this program is to reduce emissions through voluntary financial incentive programs.
Legislation in 2009, Senate Bill 184 by Senator Watson, requires the Comptroller of Public Accounts, with the assistance of advisory councils, to develop a list of strategies to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that result in net savings for consumers or businesses. These strategies will include those that can be achieved without financial cost and those that help businesses maintain global competitiveness.