A recession across the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries caused in part by the COVID19 pandemic led to a decline in production. This pandemic-driven slowdown in production caused a drop in unauthorized emissions in 2020, according to a report by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Preliminary 2021 industry emissions reports indicate that the pollution drop is likely to be short lived unless state and federal regulators ramp up environmental enforcement and eliminate pollution loopholes.
Texas cities and counties can help reach their climate goals by pooling the electricity purchasing power of their residents and buying renewable electricity. Across the country, such community bulk power programs, including so-called community choice aggregation, have given a boost to clean energy while in many cases saving money for consumers. Texas cities and counties should follow suit.
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