San Antonio Climate Plan Will Threaten Affordable and Reliable Energy

March 22, 2019

AUSTIN – The Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA) wrote to San Antonio leaders, including the Mayor and City Council Members, outlining the many reasons why the city’s proposed Climate Action and Adaptation Plan is misguided and will threaten the affordable, reliable energy that San Antonio residents and businesses rely on.

“We are writing to respectfully express concern with the City of San Antonio’s draft Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, which includes mitigation strategies that will threaten reliable, affordable energy, increase transportation costs, and put San Antonio’s residents and economy at risk,” wrote TXOGA President Todd Staples and Dr. Bryan Shaw, a former Chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The letter explains that domestic production of clean-burning natural gas has brought the price of energy for the average U.S. household down by almost 15 percent in the last decade. Conversely, entities that have implemented climate plans similar to the San Antonio proposal have seen electricity costs for families and businesses skyrocket anywhere from 24 to 100 percent.  Even more troubling, the San Antonio plan includes no actual estimate of the implementation costs for residents and businesses. Just one element of the plan calls for all city residents to replace their vehicles with expensive electrical vehicles, which require a costly home charging station.

“Without a clear understanding of implementation costs, there is substantial risk that families will face higher prices for electricity, housing and transportation, and local businesses, who provide high quality jobs for San Antonio families, will have a harder time competing in the future,” Staples and Shaw continued. “It’s a signal that the city should step back and evaluate its climate plan with objectivity.”

In their letter, Staples and Shaw detailed the many ways Texas oil and natural gas companies and their investments in and commitment to innovation have resulted in lower emissions, reduced environmental impact, and cleaner, safer technologies. Natural gas is now America’s leading source of electricity generation. Since 1990, the U.S. has seen a 14 percent reduction in methane emissions from oil and natural gas systems and U.S. carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions are at their lowest levels since 1992, all while domestic natural gas production increased 50 percent during the same period. Further, the U.S. oil and natural gas industry is the leading investor in zero- and low-carbon technology, investing more than double that of the next two sectors combined.

“These environmental achievements are proof that we don’t have to sacrifice economic growth to protect the environment. We can and will continue to do both,” Staples and Shaw wrote.

“We welcome the opportunity to be part of the process to ensure that the City’s plan is based on facts, includes concrete cost estimates and funding mechanisms, and is clear-eyed about the economic impact for San Antonio residents and its employers,” the letter concludes.

 

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