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As widely reported, the Texas economy has experienced a more robust recovery since the financial crisis than almost any state in the nation. With this economic growth comes population growth and the need to provide power to an increasing network of homes, businesses, and industrial facilities. Unfortunately, this growth can come with significant environmental costs, and Texas leads the nation in emissions of CO2. This conference will address the many challenges and opportunities of balancing environmental concerns with the need to power one of the nation’s most dynamic economies.
Since declaring carbon a regulated greenhouse gas, the Environment Protection Agency has aggressively pursued policies to reduce carbon and other harmful emissions, especially from coal power plants. One of the most significant changes is the recently released Section 111(d) rule, which aims to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Notably, these goals are specific to each state, and Texas is targeted to carry 18-20% of the entire nation’s carbon reductions.
Adjusting to these requirements will involve a transition for the state. Currently, the 20 coal power plants in Texas are estimated to provide an annual economic impact of over $4.2 billion, over $1 billion in labor income, and roughly $500 million in state and local taxes. Without changes to their emission profiles, the future of these plants is unclear. Thankfully, Texas is home to the largest renewable energy portfolio in the country, and the conference will explore various options for wind, solar, carbon capture technology, and the use of natural gas to improve the overall environmental footprint of the state.
In keeping with its reputation as the premier non-partisan leadership organization in the state, the Lyceum’s meeting in Jefferson will attempt to address this topic with a balanced approach. Key experts from regulatory, environmental, industry, and mining organizations will provide diverse perspectives on how best to move Texas forward to a brighter, and cleaner, future.
Thank you to our sponsors:
Duke DeWare, Trent Ashby, Shannon Wynne, Dick Collins,
Alicia Knight, Bill Stoudt and Jeb Jones