Earlier this year, the earth hit a frightening milestone: carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached its highest level since humans have inhabited the earth. The last time there was this much carbon on the planet was nearly a million years ago.
As the heat-trapping gas proliferates, the world warms, and the climate effects domino: droughts intensify, floods increase, ice melts and seas rise. The question now isn’t whether human activity is changing the global climate; the question is what to do about it.
The Obama administration proposed new ruleslast month that would take a first step in curbing carbon emissions from power plants in the U.S. Their target? Coal power plants. The response to the rules from Republican leaders in Texas was predictable: Gov. Rick Perry said the regulations “will only further stifle our economy’s sluggish recovery and increase energy costs.” And Attorney General (and candidate for Governor) Greg “I go into work to sue the Obama Administration” Abbott vowed to fight the “job-killing” rules just as he’s fought other rules from the EPA.
But Texas may want to sit the fight over the new carbon rules out: because they could be an economic windfall for the state, to the tune of billions of dollars a year.