NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Bush's Excellent Environmental Record

January 17, 2000

It is not surprising that Texas Gov. George W. Bush's environmental record is under particularly close scrutiny. That record should be judged on the basis of improvements made since he became governor, and against the records of other states and the nation.

For example, from 1995-1997:

  • Sulfur dioxide emissions in Texas fell by 17.1 percent compared to an increase of 11.2 percent nationally
  • Nitrogen oxide emissions fell 23.6 percent in Texas while rising 8.2 percent nationally
  • Emissions of volatile organic compounds fell by 43.2 percent in Texas but only 16 percent nationally
  • Carbon monoxide emissions fell 12 percent in Texas but only 5.1 percent nationally.

Only in the emission of particulate matter did Texas fail to exceed national averages for emission reductions -- Texas emissions fell 11.9 percent compared to a 21.2 percent average national decline.

And, to reduce air pollution still further, Governor Bush recently signed legislation making Texas the first state to require that older power plants reduce emissions -- plants that had been "grandfathered in" or exempted from emission restrictions under the 1970 Clean Air Act.

Gov. Bush has responded to Texas's environmental problems by pioneering an approach that treats property owners and the private sector as allies in the effort to solve environmental problems. The successes of these programs speak for themselves.

Source: H. Sterling Burnett (senior policy analyst, NCPA), "No Apologies for Bush's Environmental Record," Houston Chronicle, January 14, 2000.


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