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Relating to sources of funding for the Texas emissions reduction
The Texas Emissions Reduction plan (TERP) is a program that "provides financial incentives to eligible individuals, businesses, or local governments to reduce emissions from polluting vehicles and equipment" as described by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
The fees and surcharges which make up the funding stream are currently set to expire August 31, 2019. This bill would extend the life of those funding sources until TCEQ publishes a "notice in the Texas Register that, with respect to each active or revoked national ambient air quality standard for ozone referenced in 40 C.F.R. Section 81.344, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has, for each designated area referenced in that section: (1) designated the area as attainment or unclassifiable/attainment; or (2) approved a redesignation substitute making a finding of attainment for the area."
Basically, the fees would continue in perpetuity until the areas in nonattainment achieve attainment.
Texas Action opposes this legislation which is out of alignment with the principles of limited government and free markets. TERP uses taxpayer money extracted from citizens by fees and surcharges to subsidize a number of different things we oppose including the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Program, the Texas Alternative Fueling Facilities Program, light-duty motor vehicle purchase incentive subsidies, and others. We would prefer to allow TERP and its funding resources to expire altogether.
For these reasons we oppose SB 531.