Opinions very widely today on the impact of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of major cuts in carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. power plants which were released today, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Bill Hammond, President of the Texas Association of Business, says the proposal will cost thousands of jobs and do little to clean up the environment.
"Unilateral action to cut power plant emissions only takes away choices from industrial users, causes the cost of electricity to skyrocket, and will mean thousands of Americans will be on the couch instead of on the job," Hammond said.
He said the result will be sharply higher prices for electricity.
"If you manage to keep your job you may not be able to afford to keep the lights on."
But Luke Meztger, who heads the group 'Environment Texas,' says this is predictable refrain we've heard from business groups for years whenever new environmental regulations are proposed.
"This is the same kind of 'the sky is falling' argument we have heard from business groups for decades when it comes to environmental standards, and it's just not true," Metzger said. He said claims that CO2 emissions reductions will cause electricity bills to skyrocket have been 'debunked' by the Washington Post.
"Texas has already made big strides in cutting carbon pollution through wind power and energy efficiency," he said.
Metzger says the only way to get a handle on the growing problem of climate change is to take action, and he has support among Democrats in the Texas Legislature.
"I applaud the EPA's commitment to regulating carbon pollution," said State Rep Elliot Naishtat (D-Austin). "Scientists agree that global warming is areal and poses an urgent threat to the health and safety of our community. These rules will protect the health of our families and the future or our children."
But Gov. Rick Perry sees it from a different side.
"President Obama's decision to impose drastic new restrictions on America's energy industry is the most direct assault yet on the energy providers that employ thousands of Americans," Perry said. "If President Obama is truly interested in an 'all of the above' energy strategy, he would do well to look to states like Texas that have seen tremendous success at diversifying energy sources while protecting the environment from harmful pollutants."