The Texas House of Representatives Environmental Regulation Committee met Monday and Tuesday to review the EPA’s carbon-cutting Clean Energy Plan proposed by President Barack Obama to battle greenhouse gas emissions.
Under the proposed rule for existing power plants, Texas would be required to cut its power plant carbon emissions 41 percent by 2020. Gas Processors Association (GPA) Chairman of the Board Joel Moxley provided testimony during the hearings, explaining the need for regulatory certainty and its importance to the midstream energy sector.
GPA is a non-profit trade organization with nearly 130 corporate members that provide a variety of midstream energy services across the United States. GPA companies are at the forefront of the U.S. shale revolution and have invested hundreds of millions of dollars over the past decade to expand Texas facilities in and around the Mont Belvieu hub to handle natural gas liquids from not only Texas sources, but also from new shale production in states such as Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, North Dakota and Wyoming.
“When GPA last testified before your committee, we were here to urge your support for HB 788 allowing the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize greenhouse gas permits in the state of Texas,” said Moxley, senior vice president of operations for Crestwood Midstream. “I want to thank you for supporting that HB 788 and voting it into passage. But, a lot has changed since then.”
Moxley explained that with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the greenhouse gas case, minor sources of conventional pollutants have greater certainty in permitting and reiterated that most of the facilities to be built by midstream companies are minor sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
“With the inevitable increase in demand for natural gas that the Clean Power Plan will ultimately generate, regulatory certainty is paramount for this industry. Siting of pipelines, expansion of existing or construction of new gas processing plants all will be necessary components if EPA’s initiative under the Clean Power Plan is to be realized,” Moxley said.
“GPA applauds the Supreme Court decision and welcomes its impact on the industry. Because here is also what has changed: according to the Texas Pipeline Association’s (TPA) recent study done by Texas Tech University, the economic output by the midstream industry that spent $33 billion in 2013 will spend $374 billion over the next 10 years. The state of Texas has the highest rig count of any U.S. state by a factor of over four. Wells need gathering pipelines, compressor stations, gas treating and processing to make oil and gas market ready and to transport to markets,” Moxley testified. “More than ever before, our state’s economy will be propelled by this industry. The member companies of GPA and TPA stand ready to do their part; however, we can only do so in an environment of regulatory certainty.”