Global Warming

If nothing is done to address global warming Texas is going be practically unlivable by the time we get to the back half of the 21st century. Average temperatures will increase, leading to more than 100 days a year of dangerous heat. Rising sea levels will threaten the Gulf Coast, and severe weather will be an ever increasing problem. The intensity and damage Hurricane Harvey caused is still fresh on our minds. As such, Tom proposes the following:

  • That Texas place a carbon fee on the monthly production totals of crude oil, condensate and total oil, gas well gas, casinghead gas, and total natural gas. Not only will a carbon fee raise billions of dollars annually for state aid to public schools it also has the added benefit of helping curb rising global temperatures.  A Texas Carbon Fee (TCF) offers a number of solutions to a number of problems. First, is a very cost-effective method of reducing greenhouse gas admissions which contribute to global warming. Second, it will increase revenue to fund public schools while simultaneously reducing local school property taxes. Third, it will help facilitate Texas’s move away from a fossil fuels economy towards a renewal energy economy.  Under my proposal, the Texas Carbon Fee (TCF) is estimated to raise in excess of $6.5 billion a year. It would be split 80/20. Between households claiming a homestead property exemption and certain renters. For homeowners this would mean a reduction in their school property taxes by approximately $1,580 a year. In the event a homeowner’s school property tax bill is less than $1,580 the difference would be paid to them in the form a yearly dividend check. Renters would receive quarterly dividend checks of approximately $ 155 with renters defined as any household who’s income is less than 400% of the poverty level. If there is no efficiency in the oil & gas industry or if the industry decides to choose their shareholders over their customers, the average cost of gasoline could rise as much as .42 per gallon. There is also a direct correlation between higher gas prices and increased use of mass transit. The less cars on the road the better for Texas.

IMPORTANT NOTE: While the above described plan that Tom is proposing is in essence revenue neutral as it is a plan to confront global warming, it was also designed to begin the process of moving the political discussion towards looking at different revenue sources to lower school property taxes while increasing state aid to our public schools. Over the next several weeks Tom will be issuing further policy proposals to address school finance that are not revenue neutral.