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Disputed Science Can Lead to Disastrous Decisions in Copenhagen

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As President Obama jets off to Denmark for the UN's climate conference, I hope he will take some time as he flies over the Atlantic Ocean to revisit the science that led him to this trip.

The EPA sure didn't.

Last week, unelected officials at the EPA abruptly put an end to honest debate by unilaterally declaring carbon dioxide a "harmful substance" and putting themselves in position to begin regulating emissions from every business and farm in America.

In making this rash decision, they have relied heavily upon findings by climate-change scientists that have been subsequently discredited by the scientists' own e-mails, which indicate data manipulation and the exile of fellow researchers who didn't agree with the group's accepted, foregone conclusions.

As governor of a state that will be unfairly and dramatically impacted by the EPA's ill-informed decision -- one that will cost each Texas family $1,136 annually in higher costs and eliminate as many as 400,000 Texas jobs -- this is simply unacceptable.

If EPA officials are prepared to put hundreds of thousands of hardworking Texans out of work, and take nearly $100 a month more out of the pockets of people already struggling to make ends meet, my belief is that they owe these people -- at the very minimum -- the benefit of making sure the science they're depending upon is sound.

I said so in a letter I sent to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson last week as a formal request that the EPA immediately reverse its decision. I haven't heard anything back, and with President Obama on his way to Copenhagen, I doubt seriously that I will.

It would appear that "looking good" on the world stage has trumped good policy and sound science.

Ignoring the arguments of Texas because we're the national leader in traditional energies is one thing. But if that's their position now, the EPA is sadly behind the times.

Over the past decade, Texas has added more wind power than all but four other countries, and tens of thousands of megawatts of new, efficient power plants that use less fuel for each megawatt hour produced. Texans have also pioneered new drilling techniques that have unlocked vast new domestic natural gas supplies and rejuvenated old oil wells, increasing our national security.

Today, Texas air is cleaner, even after many years of a rapidly growing economy and population. We've slashed ozone-forming pollutants by nearly half and have made tremendous progress in lowering emissions that actually harm people's health. But if that isn't enough for the EPA, maybe they'll take note that a side effect of all of our efforts has been that our carbon dioxide emissions have fallen by more than nearly every other state and even every country in the world except Germany.

Rather than examine what's working in Texas and follow our example, the current administration seems intent upon passing massive new energy taxes and draconian regulations, whether through EPA mandate or via equally ill-advised cap-and-trade legislation still pending in the Senate.

This is the surest way to knock America's struggling economy completely off its feet and forever damage our ability to compete in the global marketplace.

Again, Texans will suffer more than most. We are already seeing major employers delaying or cancelling billion-dollar-plus projects due to uncertainty about what Congress or the EPA might do. That translates into thousands of jobs that won't be filled, and the loss of much-needed tax revenue for local schools.

It's just the beginning of the sacrifices Texans will be called upon to make.

Studies have shown that when they open their monthly electricity bill, Texans will have to pay an additional $50 per month, and when they fill up their truck with gas, they'll have to shell out an additional $16. Texas farms will see significantly higher costs for fuel and fertilizer, and many may be forced to close farms that have been in their families for generations.

Worst of all, these costs will be imposed on our citizens for no benefit. Even setting aside the now-discredited science upon which they're based, even the EPA has admitted that these massive energy taxes and regulations will have no impact on the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Texas is proof that traditional energy sources can vibrantly coexist with renewable and cleaner emerging technologies and that free markets and limited government are far more conducive to job growth, energy security, and fostering new technology than the Washington way.


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