Statement of Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger on SB 12 (Averitt)

Today is a good day for the breathers of Texas. We applaud Senator Averitt for his leadership in bringing blue skies back to Texas. Air pollution has been making Texas families sick for too long and SB 12 is a critical step to making our air safe to breathe again. We need to get some of the dirtiest cars and trucks off Texas roads and it’s time the Legislature appropriate the money that was intended for just that purpose. By requiring greater energy efficiency, SB 12 will also reduce pollution from the electricity sector.

We’ve got a lot of work to do to reduce the number of kids who have asthma attacks triggered by smog, the seniors who have heart attacks triggered by soot, and the newborns born with learning disabilities caused by mercury pollution. But the good news is that we have the tools available to reduce pollution and protect our most vulnerable populations. SB 12 gets us several miles in to the marathon for clean air. To get past the finish line, though, we’ll also need to stop plans to build new coal burning power plants, clean up our existing plants, and make sure that automakers are selling Texans the same clean cars available in eleven other states.