EPA Rules a Boon for Texas: Energy Study

Production at the Barnett Shale.

Photograph by Ron T. Ennis/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images

Production at the Barnett Shale.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry calls the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon-reduction plan a “direct assault” on energy providers. A new study, however, says the producers in his state may be its biggest beneficiaries.

A study set for release today from the independent Center for Strategic and International Studies and Rhodium Group, finds that the EPA’s plan could lead to a boom for natural gas production — and revenues — in states such as Texas, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. Coal producers would lose out.

In research was funded by the San Francisco-based Energy Foundation, which promotes the transition to energy efficiency and renewable energy. Unlike other studies that have looked at the impact of the plan on power producers and consumers, it also examined the impact on producers of natural gas and coal. Under one case it highlighted, a group of states consisting of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma would gain a net $16.7 billion in additional annual production income over the next decade, compared with a net loss of $2.4 billion a year for the mountain state region that includes the country’s largest coal producer, Wyoming.

Texas has one of the largest impacts of the carbon rules, in part because it’s the nation’s largest emitter of the gas that causes global warming. Under the EPA’s plan, the state must cut its emissions 39 percent by 2030, and its cuts alone would account for one-quarter of total national reductions.

Those requirements have aggravated the state’s Republican political leadership.

It “is the most direct assault yet on the energy providers that employ thousands of Americans, and fuel both our homes and our nation’s economic growth,” Perry said in a statement when the proposal was issued. “These rules will only further stifle our economy’s sluggish recovery and increase energy costs for American families.”


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