The Alliance for Clean Texas will support legislation that will reduce toxic and other air pollutant emissions, including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, from existing industrial plants and electric power plants to meet new and existing Clean Air Act requirements, and prevention of air quality deterioration by existing coal-fired power plants. In addition we will support legislation designed to notify communities when there is an unexpected release of dirty pollutants from an industrial source to prevent safety or health concerns.
The major air quality issue that faces Texas is reducing the formation of ozone in our major metropolitan areas, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, El Paso, San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Austin.
To help reduce ozone levels, the Alliance for Clean Texas will work with stakeholders to extend authorization of the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) through 2025, and assure that funding is dedicated to reducing emissions from diesel engines, to supporting storage technology, electric vehicle infrastructure, energy efficiency, and cleaning up our ports and oil fields. We also must assure sufficient administrative funding to both the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Energy Systems Laboratory to assure sufficient administration and assessment of the emissions reductions we achieve to meet compliance with our ozone standards. With some $1.3 billion in funding available in TERP accounts, we believe a plan to invest about $200 million per year over the next six years would help reduce air pollution in our major cities.
In addition, we will continue to support continued investments in the “Drive A Clean Machine” program. Also known as LIRAP, this program allows grants to drivers to clean up their vehicles and rebates to allow for cleaner vehicles in our major cities. We will support continued funding of at least $40 million per year and tweaks to allow higher rebates and repair grants in certain cases, and flexibility to local counties to spend their monies on programs that help drivers drive cleaner.