Texas has the technological prowess and vast reserves of renewable energy from the sun, wind and crops that can lead this country out of our energy crisis and revitalize our economy to boot. We also have the technology to make our homes and businesses more energy efficient, saving us money and reducing pollution.

The Texas Legislature should lead the way in clean energy solutions by creating incentives and rebates to encourage the installation of solar panels and energy efficiency measures in our homes and businesses. This investment in clean energy will help create thousands of high-paying manufacturing jobs, make our air cleaner, and renew Texas’s leadership as the energy capital of the world.

At the same time, US regulation of carbon emissions is becoming more likely. As the nation’s biggest carbon emitter, Texas should prepare for carbon regulation and work with the federal government to ensure that carbon regulation does not produce or exacerbate economic disparities.

Vehicle Emissions &
Air Quality

Air pollution comes from many different sources such as factories, power plants, dry cleaners, cars, buses, trucks, construction sites, windblown dust and wildfires. This pollution in turn affects air quality and the health of human beings, trees, lakes, crops, and animals and can cause haze and building erosion.

As clean air and its components are vital to the overall quality of life on the planet, air quality is a concern that everyone should have when it comes to making decisions such as who to vote for, how to get to work or school in the morning or what kind of light bulbs to install at home. Vehicle emissions are particularly dangerous to human health and the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, respiratory health problems as well as other health complications occur in the presence of higher concentrations of "criteria" pollutants found in vehicle emissions consisting of ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter (PM) and lead (Pb). Each element has a threshold at which it becomes dangerous to human health (termed "Primary Standards") and a level at which it becomes dangerous to "public welfare" which includes hindering visibility, endangering crops and animals, and becomes harmful to buildings (termed "Secondary Standards") (EPA, National Ambient Air Quality Standards). For an area to be in "attainment" with the federal standards set by the Clean Air Act, it has to meet the "ambient" air quality standard for that particular substance, while anything over the designated ambient level for the period of time designated for that matter will cause an area to be classified in "nonattainment" status.