New EPA emissions proposal draws harsh criticism in Texas

A recent EPA proposal to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants has drawn harsh criticism from Texas leaders. The proposal requires a 30 percent reduction in emissions by 2030.

Critics of the rule say the EPA has no authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, and that the rule has an outsized and disproportionate impact on Texas. According to a statement by Governor Rick Perry, these rules are the “most direct assault yet” on the energy industry.

Existing coal plants will be met with new costs to comply with the new emissions limits, and at least some existing plants are predicted to close. Though natural gas is expected to become the dominant fuel source for plants in the future, natural gas plants must still find ways to reduce their current carbon emissions.

Texas produces and consumes more electricity than any other state. Demands for electricity are driven higher each year as its population continues to boom. For the most part, Texas is covered by an intrastate power grid as opposed to multistate grids. State officials are evaluating how the rule may affect the grid’s reliability.

This post was written by Barclay Nicholson ( or 713.651.3662) from Norton Rose Fulbright's Energy Practice Group.