Federal carbon regulation : implications and adaptation strategies for local policymakers in Texas



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In the absence of federal climate change initiatives, Texas cities have been free to pursue their own local energy and environmental policy objectives. However, recent trends in federal climate change politics have made it clear that the era of federal inaction on climate change is nearing an end. This report argues that these trends will eventually culminate in a comprehensive regulatory structure with serious implications for the entire energy landscape of Texas. Texas cities that adapt quickly to these new conditions will experience greater success in the new low-carbon economy. Determining which adaptation strategy is appropriate for each city, however, is largely a function of the policy priorities of the city in question. This report identifies four, often conflicting, policy perspectives that influence the development of climate change policy priorities: Environmental Protection, Economic Stability, Peak Oil Production, and Energy Security. It then analyzes these perspectives in order to develop criteria for the proper selection of future energy and environmental policies. Finally, this report examines a variety of proposed policy initiatives to identify strategic options for each perspective and opportunities for mutual gain.