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Texas Can Lead America in Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions with SB-12

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The author of this entry is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or
April 9, 2015 | 4,466 views | 16 comments

By Chris Faulkner

The 84th Texas Legislative session in Austin is considering critical bill to clean up the air we breathe and that could transform our state. Texas Democratic Senator Carolos Uresti’s Senate Bill-12 would use existing state funds already earmarked for emissions reductions programs. The measure would convert many of the state’s 28,000 vehicles to cleaner fuel sources such as natural gas and propane.

Texas has 30-percent of the estimated natural gas in the U.S., which is the world’s largest reserve. It is estimated by the Energy Information Administration that America has enough natural gas to supply current and future demand for up to 150 years.

The U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) says there are about 150,000 natural gas vehicles on the road in America. Worldwide, it swells to 15.2 million. In my international travels, I have observed how other countries embrace natural gas vehicles as a cheaper, cleaner, more efficient transportation fuel source. The Honda Civic GX was introduced domestically to flat sales, mostly because of limited fueling options.

Here in Texas, we embraced CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) vehicles in their fleets. At DFW airport, nearly 500 maintenance vehicles run on CNG and the airport has its own fueling station. Dallas Area Rapid Transit is phasing in 650 CNG busses and vehicles. In Houston, 30 CNG airport shuttle busses save the city nearly $250,000 annually in fuel costs. San Antonio’s riverboats run on compressed gas, safely and efficiently carrying one million passengers a year along the city’s infamous Riverwalk canals. More than 30 Texas companies like UPS, FedEx, Frito-Lay, HEB and McShan Florist successfully use natural gas vehicles.

A DOE - Argonne National Lab Report reveals that, natural gas could reduce CO2 emissions by 20-30 percent and toxic carbon monoxide emissions by 75 percent. As a much cleaner burning fuel, particulate matter emissions are reduced by 95 percent and nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compounds are each cut in half.

SB-12 would allocate three percent of the state’s $1 billion Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP), a fund created in 2001 specifically for emissions reductions funding. It converts many of the 28,000 state-owned vehicles to natural gas, propane, or other alternative fuels and it would also help fund strategically placed fueling stations.

The bill faces an uphill battle from environmentalists arguing for impractical electric powered vehicles and lobbyists, who fear more natural gas usage could drive up prices and reduce corporate profits. Refiners oppose the bill, protecting their market share of petroleum distillates.

This bill desperately needs bilateral support. Texas needs to lead by example. We have rich abundance of gas flowing out of the Barnett shale, the Eagle Ford shale, the Permian Basin and the Haynesville-Bossier shale in East Texas. Texas also has a vast, pipeline infrastructure to move it around the state.

Money-strong self-interest groups are putting pressure on our lawmakers. They’re putting their agendas ahead of what is naturally good for Texas. All Texas residents need to sound an alarm to our senators and representatives that we want to save our environment more than corporate profits. We also want to create an untold number of jobs in America. The Texas legislature should pass SB-12 for the good of our air, our future and as a national leader in producing natural gas while reducing our carbon footprint.

Chris Faulkner is CEO of Breitling Energy Corporation, a Dallas-based exploration and production company with wells in the Permian Basin and other Texas locations. He is author of “The Fracking Truth: America’s Energy Revolution -- The Inside, Untold Story” and “Breaking Free”, a documentary film promoting the benefits of shale oil and gas development.
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Your Opinions and Comments

4th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Spriungs  
April 17, 2015 11:00am
say what?

Bob Pritts  
St Hedwig, TX  
April 17, 2015 10:26am
SayWhat??? Would you please share with me a list of products that can be manufactured or maintained without petroleum? Even one or two would be a start.

Black Ghost  
Doseido Colony  
April 17, 2015 5:23am
4th Generation Texan .... The third generation must be beaming with pride while viewing what they begat. Are you the new family values ambassador and role model for the children of Wilson county?

4th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Spriungs  
April 16, 2015 7:56pm
"Black Ghost"...

Lodi, Texas  
April 16, 2015 2:35pm
I guess the adage of 'If you want less consumption, tax it more' holds true. :-)

April 16, 2015 9:25am
Yeah, with gas prices dropping they're already crying in Washington and Austin about raising the gas tax. They've been shoving "drive less, drive fuel efficient" down our throats for years. The end result? We do... More ›

Kicaster Creek  
April 16, 2015 5:53am
Franklin .... Just read that CNG used in state and local buses is non taxable. There was some other tax breaks that expired the last day of 2014 but I'm not sure who benefits from that exemption. So I guess that any price... More ›

Black Ghost  
Doseido Colony  
April 15, 2015 5:10pm
Franklin ... I agree and would gladly switch to CNG if the infrastructure were in place. Due to our nations reserve of natural gas, I think that the CNG industry will experience a steady slow increase of places to fill... More ›

April 15, 2015 4:54pm
Just a thought.. I think the idea of CNG isn't a bad one. Costs of CNG vs diesel is cheaper. I think as long as they are fading in CNG and not running out and buying new vehicles its not an issue either. CNG isn't as volatile... More ›

4th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Spriungs  
April 15, 2015 11:08am
I thought the phrase was " a politician in the Vault".

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