Chris Faulkner, president and chief executive officer of Breitling Oil and Gas, says yes in Friday’s Houston Chronicle:
The Environmental Protection Agency’s new carbon emissions standards have caused an uproar in the coal industry.
These rules limit the amount of carbon new coal-fired power plants can produce.
Industry-friendly lawmakers have been quick to voice their outrage. Congressmen John Shimkus and Rodney Davis say they “will kill the future of coal.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called them a “war on coal.”
But the real threat to coal’s dominance isn’t excessive federal regulation. It’s natural gas. And Texas is playing a major role in the national gas renaissance.
With natural gas, the United States has found an expansive homegrown energy source that’s cleaner than coal and increasingly cost-effective.
The modern natural gas boom has given the United States a chance to achieve genuine energy independence and seriously cut down on carbon emissions.
Texas is the leading producer of natural gas in the United States, accounting for 28 percent of total national production.
And here in Houston, the growing supply of low-cost gas has fueled massive economic gains.
Dow Chemical just announced a billion-dollar expansion plan expected to create thousands of new positions. And the Port of Houston has benefited from $80 billion in new regional investments in the petrochemical industry.
Meanwhile, those looking to protect coal from new EPA regulations are defending an energy source that is already falling into disfavor in the United States and other developed nations.