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Press Release

    Letter to the TNRCC

    01/11/2002

    Robert Huston, Chairman
    R.B. "Ralph" Marquez, Commissioner
    Kathleen Hartnett White, Commissioner
    Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission
    12100 Park 35 Circle
    Austin, Texas 78753
    FAX: 239-5533

    Attn: Jeff Saitas

    Dear Chairman Huston and Commissioners:

    I am state director of Citizens for a Sound Economy and represent 48,000 citizens who support economic freedom and the limited government that our Founding Fathers envisioned. We understand that on January 18, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission is scheduled to consider a report containing staff recommendations in response to a petition by a coalition of environmental organizations seeking a reduction of CO2 and methane levels in Texas below 1990 levels. Please know that it has not gone unnoticed by consumers that these are the provisions of the now-dead Kyoto Protocol.

    To implement these measures would result in an energy tax in Texas, which would further disrupt our economy, Texas taxpayers will simply revolt!

    Nationally, we should be patting ourselves on the back for the tremendous strides we have made in Texas. Voluntary programs by Texas industries are already producing results - and those efforts will remain ongoing, we oppose the imposition of mandatory reduction measures. Additionally, several of the petitioners' statements used to justify the need for the mandatory plan are inaccurate and misleading. For example:

    The petitioners would have you believe a reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions in Texas will make a marked difference. This is ridiculous. If Texas contributes 1/7th of the U.S. manmade CO2 - as the petitioners claim - this is less than 1/10th of 1% of the global total manmade CO2 emissions. This percentage of is already decreasing as Texas emissions decrease and developing nations with no restrictions increase their emissions. To impose a tax on Texas consumers to address 1/10th of 1% of total manmade CO2 emissions would be sheer folly.

    The petitioners claim a buildup of gases in the atmosphere is causing the Earth to warm. There are many scientists who dispute that global warming is taking place at all. There has been no statistically meaningful long-term change in statewide summer or winter temperatures in Texas during the last 100 years.

    The petitioners state "the United States is required to reduce emissions of carbon by 7 percent below 1990 levels during the period from 2008 to 2012." This misleading statement implies the United States must comply with the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. In fact, the previous administration could not get the petition passed by the Senate and the Bush administration has refused to submit the treaty to the Senate for ratification. This is a backdoor attempt to get the provisions of a dead treaty implemented. Let's remember that Senators -- Democrats and Republicans -- have voted 95-0 to oppose the treaty. Now even Japan has rejected the treaty.
    I believe it is inappropriate for a state agency to impose on families Kyoto-style mandates that have been rejected at the federal level. As our fragile economy takes steps toward recovery it does not deserve a body blow of this magnitude. All projections indicate we could face a multi-billion dollar state budget shortfall in 2003, and each state agency must be cognizant of policies that would exacerbate the fiscal situation. The possible policy changes under consideration by the TNRCC would - if taken - have long- and short-term implications that would prove to be both far-reaching and adverse. Again, we believe the TNRCC should refrain from being used for backdoor implementation of a treaty that failed Senate passage.

    Should you allow public comment at your Jan 18 meeting, I would like to speak. Thank you for your consideration.

    Sincerely,
    Peggy M. Venable

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