Consumers Will Save Both Cash And The Climate Under The Final Clean Power Plan Rules

Statement of Tom “Smitty” Smith, Director of the Texas office of Public Citizen.

The final climate rules are a win-win for Texas consumers who will save cash while reducing climate change. The rules will increase the speed with which money saving renewable energy is deployed in Texas. The latest bids for solar and wind renewable energy is 40-60% less than the cost of building and fueling a new natural gas plant, saving money for Texans.

The final program prioritizes early investment in energy efficiency projects in low-income communities by the Federal government awarding these types of projects double the number of credits in 2020 and 2021. An effective state plan would include increasing energy efficiency goals in the already successful state programs and take advantage of the opportunities in the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP).  As energy efficiency is still the most cost effective way to meet the goals, Texas can reduce consumer’s bills, saving energy and dollars, by increasing its energy efficiency program to achieve all cost effective efficiency measures and wasting less energy. Already cities and school districts across the state are improving their buildings to use less energy. Acting now will give Texas a head start and provide a backstop to meeting federal requirements. “Using less energy to power our homes and businesses is critical to building a clean and secure energy future.”[1]

If we don’t act soon, the costs of climate pollution will be devastating. We are all paying more for food, water, insurance and health care as a result of heat trapping emissions from coal plants. The sooner we eliminate dirty coal the sooner we’ll begin to reduce consumer costs.

[1] White House – Texas Factsheet. https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/climate/Texas_Factsheet.pdf

If you want to read the 1560 page final rule, CPP Final Rule.