Radio Address - July 26, 2004
Gov. Rick Perry
Topic: Clean Air Record
My fellow Texans
The people of Texas have made tremendous strides in the stewardship of our natural resources and the protection of our environment. By reducing emissions, cleaning up old plants and encouraging greater development of clean energy sources, our state continues to be a national leader in the battle against pollution.
In fact, last month the Environmental Protection Agency recognized Texas for meeting federal air pollution standards for fine particles that are the top cause of childhood asthma. And though our work to clean Texas' air continues, the EPA's new designation signifies that we have taken another important step on the path towards a healthier Texas.
Texas has taken a "get-tough" stance with older, "grandfathered" power plants - clean up, or shut down. As a result, old polluting plants are significantly reducing emissions.
Two years ago I ordered the Texas Department of Transportation to begin using cleaner burning fuels for its vehicle fleets in our large urban areas. Today, 100% of the department's vehicles in those regions use low-sulfur diesel, which significantly reduces nitrogen oxide emissions.
We have also provided an estimated $270 million over two years to implement the "Texas Emissions Reduction Plan." Since the program's inception, the state has distributed over $40 million in incentives to local governments and helped reduced noxious emissions by nearly 7,000 tons.
Texas has long been known as the nation's largest energy producer, but we are equally proud of our distinction as the nation's leading energy innovator... thanks in part to laws we passed mandating that 3 percent of the state's electricity come from renewable sources by 2009. Today, Texas leads the nation in the expansion of wind energy.
The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land we inhabit are not only critical elements in the quality of life we enjoy - they are a reflection of the majesty of our Creator. And it is incumbent upon us all to treasure, respect and safeguard these gifts for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.