Presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry bragged last night during the third GOP presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan library in California that Texas had cleaned up its air under his watch:
PERRY: Let me tell you what I find compelling, is what we’ve done in the state of Texas, using our ability to regulate our clean air. We cleaned up our air in the state of Texas, more than any other state in the nation during the decade. Nitrous oxide levels, down by 57 percent. Ozone levels down by 27 percent.
That’s the way you need to do it, not by some scientist somewhere saying, “Here is what we think is happening out there.” The fact of the matter is, the science is not settled on whether or not the climate change is being impacted by man to the point where we’re going to put America’s economics in jeopardy.
But Perry didn’t tell the full truth about Texas’ clean air (along with ignoring the fact that scientists have already settled the science on climate change). According to the Associated Press, Texas did reduce emissions, most of which were required under the federal Clean Air Act. Texas still emits more carbon dioxide — the chief greenhouse gas — than any other state, thanks to its oil and gas industry. And Perry signed a bill passed by the Texas legislature that delays enforcing stiffer clean air regulations for two years. Several Texas cities continue to violate health-based limits on smog, with Houston chief among them and one of the worst cities in the nation for air pollution.
Perry may brag about the numbers he sees as important, but he ignores the bigger picture — not to mention the proven science behind the climate changes fueling the massive wildfires burning across his state.