NCPA: Texas Environment Improves More Under Bush Than in Other States

DALLAS (April 20, 2000) - Despite criticism from some environmental groups, Texas has made more improvement in its environment under Gov. George W. Bush than most other states.

While Texas has its share of environmental problems, the state has pioneered an environmental approach that is making the state cleaner while not stunting economic growth. So says a soon to be released report by the non-partisan National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPASM).

"Political opponents of Governor Bush want to portray Texas as an environmental garbage dump that has only gotten worse under his watch. Fortunately for Texas, the facts just don't support their claim," said H. Sterling Burnett, a senior policy analyst at the NCPA and the author of the report.

Critics point to the fact that Texas ranks first on the Environmental Protection Agency's Toxic Release Inventory and that Houston recently surpassed Los Angeles as the city with the "dirtiest" air in the nation to make their case. However, according to the report, both claims are misleading and ignore the progress made while experiencing tremendous population growth.

The Bush administration pioneered a voluntary plan that has reduced air pollution in Texas. Between 1995 and 1997, Texas reduced the amount of toxic chemicals released into the environment by 42 million pounds, more than any other state. During the same period:

  • Nitrogen oxide emissions fell by more than 23.5 percent - second best nationally.
  • Emissions of volatile organic compounds fell by over 43 percent - fourth best nationally.
  • Sulfur dioxide emissions fell by over 17 percent - fifth best nationally.
  • Carbon dioxide emissions fell by 12 percent - thirteenth best nationally.

Said Burnett: "To argue that Texas is an environmental mess due to failed leadership, is to ignore where Texas was before, and the progress its made since."