…is illustrated in today’s News op-ed by Environmental Defense’s Jim Marston, in which he states (as a reason for not building more power plants):
The truth is that Texas doesn’t have a power shortage. As long as utilities don’t take too many units offline at once like they did in April, we have adequate capacity to handle even peak demand…TXU’s new plants would saddle Texas with 23 percent more capacity than current peak loads require.
The key word in there is “current.” We don’t need it today. But with our population growth, we need it tomorrow. And if we don’t start building, we will need it urgently tomorrow.
On the same page, the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute’s Brent Connell tackles the fact that Texas ranks #1 in greenhouse gases by noting that Texas is a very large state:
Texas’ emissions of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide, measured in tonnage, are significantly less than the total emissions of 13 Northeast states, that have less land area together than does Texas. Relative to other states, Texas is not a grave offender in terms of air pollution and has some of the cleanest emission rates.
I admit to be alarmed by the statistic–I’m still alarmed–but that comparison does seem sensible. And also on the same page, Kathleen Parker from the Orlando Sentinel has a very good suggestion. Maybe the News ought to champion it. All in all, a good day for op-eds at the News today. Just too bad they couldn’t find an environmentalist who makes sense.