MAY 23, 2017
Texas Emissions Reduction Plan: Let’s Keep a Good Thing Going
AUSTIN, Texas —Texas lawmakers have a chance this week to continue one of the most cost-effective air pollution reduction programs in the state’s history. The Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) should be continued with a vote for SB 26, Public Citizen said today.
TERP will expire in 2019 unless SB 26 is passed. The legislation would extend funding for as long as Texas does not meet federal ozone pollution standards.
TERP works by providing incentives to retrofit or replace old, polluting vehicles. The program reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution and helps Texas meet federal air pollution standards. NOx pollution leads to the creation of ozone (smog), which can cause breathing problems, asthma attacks, heart attacks and premature death.
Not all programs that TERP funds are created equal. The Diesel Emissions Reduction Program (DERI), for example, is one of the most cost-effective means to reduce NOx pollution. Since 2001, DERI has spent more than $1 billion to replace or upgrade more than 17,629 vehicles and pieces of diesel equipment, resulting in a reduction of 171,945 tons of NOx at an average cost per ton of $5,893, according to state data. This is four times more cost effective than the natural gas incentive program.
“TERP just makes sense,” said Adrian Shelley, director of Public Citizen’s Texas office. “It has the broad support of industry leaders, environmental activists and public health advocates because it is one of the best ways to reduce air pollution and improve public health in Texas.”
TERP not only saves lives and improves public health, but it also saves Texans money. According to a report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, diesel reduction programs like those found in TERP realize $13 in health benefits for every dollar spent.
Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., with an office in Austin, Texas.