News

Perry's State of the State Address

January 27th, 2009

Today Governor Perry lays out his legislative agenda in his State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate in Austin.

The Quorum Report provided the text of the governor’s remarks, and we make it available here (in Word format):
Perry%20State%20of%20the%20State%2001-27-2009.doc

Here are some points from Perry’s speech related to conservation issues, grouped by theme:

Water

As we turn our eyes toward that shared future, we must continue focusing on the things that government is supposed to do, provide for the additional transportation, electricity and water infrastructure and resources our state needs to grow and prosper.

Ask yourself, will the decisions we make in this session ensure your children and grandchildren have the resources they need to thrive in Texas?

When they turn on the faucet, will clean, affordable water flow? Let’s answer that question before this session ends and make it a resounding yes.

Make this 81st Session memorable as the moment when Texas finally invested in your water plan that is well-researched and locally-developed…but not-yet-funded.

Let’s ensure that our citizens, our children and grandchildren, have access to this most vital of resources for the next fifty years.

Let’s also make sure that, when they flip a light switch, the lights will come on and stay on.

Let’s not leave a legacy of rolling blackouts because we didn’t keep pace with our power infrastructure.

The best long-term method for controlling utility costs is not to centralize control of rates, but to diversify the supply of energy…and keep taxes lower.

Energy

Unfortunately, our strength in petrochemical production and refining makes us a big target on the radar of an increasingly activist EPA, whose one-size-fits-all approaches could severely harm our energy sector; an agency whose potential to harm our state with punitive actions will only increase in the months and years to come.

Rather than wait for more mandates and punishments for environmental non-attainment, let’s continue encouraging innovation.

I support giving Texans in the non-attainment areas of our state a $5,000 incentive towards a purchase of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles, using the funds Texans have already paid to reduce emissions, while providing a unique way to store wind energy.

This will keep Texas competitive in an emerging technology and take advantage of an energy portfolio that grows deeper and more diverse every day.

Texas has been taking an all-of-the-above approach to energy, increasing our affordable supplies of traditional energy sources, as well as wind, solar, bio-fuels, and nuclear, as a way to bolster our economy and move us closer to energy independence.

Texas is leading a national renaissance in nuclear power. With six potential new reactors on the drawing board, we need to encourage the production of this clean and reliable form of energy.

Texas has a huge opportunity in bio-fuels if we’ll continue leveraging our state’s energy expertise while avoiding use of food crops for energy, a practice that harms our farmers and ranchers, and drives up the family grocery bill.

Of all the renewable energy sectors, our biggest success story is in wind. Texas not only leads the nation in installed capacity, we have more wind-generated megawatts than all but three countries.

As with all electricity, however, one of our biggest challenges is getting the power from the source to homes and businesses where it is needed.

So whether it’s West Texas wind or nuclear power from South Texas, we need to build out the transmission and distribution lines, streamline the regulations, and cut the red tape, so we can move this power to where it’s needed.

Truth in Budgeting

We should only spend tax dollars on the express purpose for which they were collected. That’s what Texans expect and that’s what they should get.

Let’s show it can be done in this session by shifting funding for the Department of Public Safety back into general revenue.

This will free up existing gasoline tax dollars to fulfill their original purpose: the construction and maintenance of our state’s roads.