Two-thirds of Texans live in areas where the air is unhealthy to breathe, according to health-based standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The state's elected leadership needs to enact new ways to increase funding for regulatory enforcement of environmental protections in Texas. At the same time, Texas needs to encourage pollution prevention and more efficient use of natural resources. Public Citizen and Texas Center for Policy Studies encourage the 78th Legislature to seriously consider adopting environmentally responsible fees and taxes at a time when state funds are stretched thin. We believe the ideas in this report are good starting points for a discussion on how best to fund cleaning up the air in Texas. We also believe that these ideas could generate funds to also pay a small portion of Texas’ increasing health care costs related to air pollution or to provide state funding for public schools. The five ideas contained in this report are designed to generate about $1 billion during the 2004-05 biennium.
For several years, Public Citizen’s Texas State Office, the Texas Center for Policy Studies, and other statewide organizations have been exploring ways to reduce pollution while spreading the cost of air pollution cleanup more equitably among those reponsible for the problem. This report gives the legislature a menu of options to choose from to raise funds to protect public health from air pollution.
Several individuals contributed to the writing and editing of this report. In addition to Cyrus Reed of the Texas Center for Policy Studies, who provided much of the text and editing, Travis Brown, Leslie Hall, and Aneka Patel of Public Citizen were instrumental in the preparation of the report.
For More Information:
Copies of this report are available for free from Public Citizen or Texas Center for Policy Studies. The report is also available on both websites listed below.
Public Citizen’s Texas State Office 1002 West Avenue Austin, TX 78701 (512) 477-1155, Fax (512) 479-8302 http://www.citizen.org/texas
Texas Center for Policy Studies 44 East Ave, Suite 306 Austin, Texas 78701. (512) 474-0811, Fax (512) 474-7846 http://www.texascenter.org/feeproj firstname.lastname@example.org