Report: Texas Cuts Emissions by 2%

The state's carbon dioxide emissions are down by two percent according to a new report by Environment Texas. The decline is a reversal of a decades-long trend of rising pollution. Laurie Johnson reports.

The report Too Much Pollution was compiled by Environment Texas using data from the Department of Energy.

Environment Texas Spokesman Alejandro Savransky says the two percent decline in CO2 emissions between 2004 and 2007 signals a change for the state.

"Well, the biggest change is a reduction in the electricity mix in the state of Texas. So we switched from using a lot of coal to using more natural gas and more wind. And the switch in our energy mix reduced our emissions per capita from the electricity sector by four percent, so that is very significant."

Savransky says despite the reduction, Texas still leads the nation in carbon dioxide emissions.

City of Houston General Services Director Issa Dadoush says the city already gets 32 percent of its energy from renewable sources. And he says it is possible for the entire state to make significant progress toward cutting emissions from fossil fuels within the next decade.

"Houston has always taken a position we want to lead by example. We want to show people that we can do it. We want to show the private sector that we can do it. And by leading by example, we can actually go out there and tell people hey we're doing it, why can't you. Houston, by leading by example, is sending a message to everybody in Texas and maybe in the nation that it can be done and should be done."

Environment Texas scientists say a 20 percent reduction in CO2 emissions is attainable by the year 2020.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...