State Emissions Program Has Surplus
The Texas Emissions Reduction Plan has collected more money than it knows what to do with.
Members of the House Committee on Environmental Regulation and an appropriations subcommittee met Tuesday to discuss what to do with the surplus.
Doug Miller, a subcommittee member, had a few ideas. Miller says TERP could reduce the fees it collects, slowing the growth of its account. Or it could further fund highly concentrated emission areas like Dallas and Houston.
“Motors, engines, have become more and more efficient and less polluting,” Miller said. “Is there a way, could some of these funds be used to maybe turn over and get more environmentally friendly engines or vehicles?”
But David Brymer with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality isn’t convinced the money should be spent on research.
“At the same time a lot of the low-lying fruit has already been plucked off that tree,” Brymer said. “Those initial reductions are going to become a lot more costly as we move forward and make any additional reductions.”
Since 2001, when TERP was created, the program has issued more than $850 million in grants to businesses and local governments to curb emissions.