Texas Land Commissioner: Biden’s EPA Power Plant Regulations Will Defund Education, Crush Jobs

Work continues on a turbine generator during a scheduled refueling outage on Unit 2 at the
File Photo: James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle via Getty Images

Op-ed by Texas General Land Office Commissioner Dawn Buckingham, M.D.

Since his first day in the Oval Office, Joe Biden has done everything in his power to implement fanciful leftist ideals that pander to his base – and ultimately hurt the people he took an oath to defend. Under the guise of fighting the “climate change crisis,” this administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a rule that seeks to eliminate nearly all the country’s natural gas and coal-fired power plant’s carbon emissions over the next two decades.

As the steward of 13 million acres of state-owned land in Texas, this proposed rule is extremely concerning. Texas’ state lands are rich in oil, gas, and other mineral rights. The revenue generated from our state lands is used to fund public education throughout Texas through a public endowment known as the Permanent School Fund (PSF). The Texas General Land Office has deposited over $30 billion into the PSF since its inception, including over $2.1 billion in oil and natural gas revenues last fiscal year alone. This move by Biden’s EPA is job-crushing and would have a lasting effect on Texas’ school children, as well as our state’s robust oil and gas industry.

Currently, power plants driven by fossil fuels make up sixty percent of all of the United States’ electricity production.  Biden’s new rule is not only a blatant attack on the domestic oil and gas industry – it’s an unconcealed attempt to force the transition of our energy economy through regulatory violence. With inflation skyrocketing, the implementation of this rule would not only put more Americans out of work of high-paying jobs, but it would also most assuredly increase consumers’ energy costs.  Remember when Obama said his “plan” would see electricity rates “necessarily skyrocket?” Biden’s plan puts that cruel position on steroids.

It’s not a surprise that the same administration that eliminated the Keystone XL Pipeline plans would also try to eradicate any semblance of domestic energy security and punish regular everyday Americans. The state of Texas is prospering for a reason – most of that has to do with the oil and gas industry. Sadly, the Biden Administration would rather rely on foreign oil and place the fate of our nation in the hands of untested, unproven fantasies of green energy.

This proposed rule brazenly defies a recent landmark ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. Back in June of 2022, the EPA’s autonomous rule-making authority to implement emissions limits on existing power plants was struck down in West Virginia v. EPA. However, unsurprisingly, the Biden Administration is choosing not to take the United States judicial branch’s ruling into account when imposing new unrealistic, authoritarian government standards.

At a time when U.S. power consumption requirements are expected to increase by 12- 22 percent between now and 2030, this rule is more than unreasonable, it’s detrimental to the state of Texas and the nation.  This is why I sent a letter to the EPA demanding answers and an explanation of this bureaucratic, unlawful overreach.

If this rule is allowed to go into effect, I intend to take the Biden Administration to court. I will not allow this White House to snuff out our state’s oil and gas industry, take away funding for our school children, and crush Texas’ prosperous economy.

Dr. Dawn Buckingham serves as the elected commissioner of the Texas General Land Office. The General Land Office manages state lands, operates the Alamo, helps Texans who are recovering from natural disasters, helps fund Texas public education through the Permanent School Fund, provides benefits to Texas Veterans, and manages the vast Texas coast. Follow the GLO on Twitter @txglo and Dr. Buckingham at @DrBuckinghamTX.


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