88th LegislatureIssuesTaxes & SpendingHays County Democrat Proposes Mandatory ‘Climate Change Action Plan’ for Texas

The bill would require a climate change plan by the end of 2024, including an “inventory of greenhouse gasses” from all sources in Texas.
January 17, 2023
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State Rep. Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) introduced a climate change bill in the Legislature that would require a “climate change action plan” for Texas.

Filed in November, House Bill (HB) 57 would require state agencies, including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, to compile a report on the overall impact on climate change in the state by December 1, 2024. The report would include impacts on the natural landscape as well as “emergency preparedness” and infrastructure.

However, Zwiener’s bill stipulates that “significant uncertainties about climate change” would also be studied. The legislation contains a provision requiring the report to reflect a “diversity of views” and that the document be made accessible to the public and the Legislature.

In addition to the report, Zwiener’s bill would require the creation of a climate change action plan and mandate that state agencies “compile an inventory of greenhouse gasses emitted in this state by all sources.”

The climate change action plan would also be due on December 1, 2024 and include “cost-effective strategies for reducing or offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, including the costs, benefits, and co-benefits of those strategies, and how those strategies impact the capability of meeting future energy demands.”

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HB 57 does not contain any new spending on its face, though any climate change action plan would no doubt involve taxpayer resources.

Some Texans recently pushed back after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission floated the idea of banning gas stoves due to research showing they contribute to asthma in children.

The Texas House of Representatives has 86 Republicans and 64 Democrats, making it unlikely that a climate change bill would pass the chamber. The state Senate is also controlled by Republicans.

Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) has spoken in favor of spending most of the state’s record-setting $33 billion budget surplus on infrastructure projects, given the rapidly growing population of Texas and other factors.

Zwiener’s office could not be reached for comment on Monday.

A copy of Zwiener’s bill can be found below.

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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."