By Brianna Murphy
The Biden administration seeks climate crisis relief while Texas Gov. Greg Abbott believes it threatens the Texas economy.
Within his first months of office, President Joseph R. Biden plans to establish changes to environmental policy. According to biden.org, “Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face.”
In the president’s green plan, greenhouse gas emissions are a central focus, along with reshaping the oil industry.
Dr. Rebecca Owens, professor of geology at Tyler Junior College, said “the most concerning aspect of fossil fuels is the production of large amounts of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide.” Owen’s said “[The] burning of fossil fuels produces a large amount of carbon dioxide, so the more we use these fuels the more we are contributing to climate change.”
The Biden Plan’s stated goals are to “ensure the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and reaches net-zero emissions no later than 2050.” While Abbot said, “Texas is not going to stand idly by and watch the Biden administration kill jobs in Midland, in Odessa or any other place across the entire region.”
Concerning the environmental damage, the usage of oil is not the only aspect disrupting ecosystems. Owens said, “it is important to note that this is only part of the problem.”
Human made structures and the lack of open fields can cause more damage to the environment compared to fracking and oil. “We are concurrently adding large amounts of carbon dioxide and replacing our natural environment with human-made structures that do not recycle carbon,” Owens said.
Abbott believes the Biden Plan will harm Texas’ economy, as oil and gas industries thrive within the Lone Star State.
Thousands of jobs will be lost if oil and gas productions slow down and many Texas representatives stress against the Biden Plan.
Concerning both economics and the environment, the complete removal of oil and fracking is unadvised. “There will always be a place for oil,” Owens said. “There will continue to be a need for petroleum-based products like plastic. We can reduce our carbon footprint just by cutting oil usage as individuals, though.”
According to biden.org, the Biden administration argues it will alleviate the job losses and economic stress, through “creating jobs and new solutions to reduce emissions in planes, ocean-going vessels, and more.”
According to the Houston Chronicle, Abbott said, “it’s wrong for a president or anybody else to act like their job can be ended today, and they can just be retrained to do some other job.”
According to NASA, the current global temperature and carbon emissions continue to make a slow, but steady rise.
“As a result of our disruption of the planet’s natural carbon cycle, we are seeing drastic changes to our climate,” Owens said.
Texas and the Biden Administration will continue to debate over the matter, as no compromise has been reached to this date.