A fight against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was won in Texas this past week as the EPA allowed Texas significantly more flexibility when dealing with state permits concerning pollution sources. Giving Texas more control over the environmental impacts that occur within the state. A hard fought win for Texas as they have been working for years to gain back the control that the EPA stripped away from them.
The compromise on Texas’s clean air plan can be used as an example for other states hoping to gain back some of their rights concerning environmental regulation. By allowing the states the ability to implement locally tailored plans and permits, plants will no longer fear being shut down due to overly strict federal regulation. Less regulation is for the better as Texas currently houses 832 drilling rigs, which accounts for 47% of all US oil rigs and 25% of the entire worlds!
This has boosted oil and gas severance tax revenue to an amazing $900 million dollars which has funded several projects. The projects would utilize the surplus to fund the State Water Plan which was create in 1997 but never received funding until now. The legislature in total created two funds that;
- The State Water Implementation Fund (SWIFT) will contain $2.5 billion to fund projects in the State Water Plan.
- The State Water Implementation Revenue Fund of Texas (SWIRFT) will contain $3.5 billion for road, port and rail infrastructure projects.
In a state that led national job growth in 2013, is a powerhouse in the energy industry, and increased environmental standards without EPA involvement; even less federal involvement can only be for the better.