News Types: Media Coverage

Thomas McGarity, “Texas says federal plan for coal plant emissions is too harsh,” (San Antonio Express-News)

The San Antonio Express-News quoted Texas Law Professor Tom McGarity in an article about the recent federal proposal which calls for Texas to reduce its carbon emissions from coal plants by 39%. Although Texas says it shouldn’t be forced to make deeper emissions cuts than Kentucky and West Virginia (which would be required to make cuts of 20% and 18%, respectively), Professor McGarity opined that “Texas shouldn’t be scared of the target because the state has abundant energy sources other than coal.”

Thomas McGarity, “Texas pushing back as feds move to reduce coal-fired plants,” (Houston Chronicle)

President Obama’s plan to sharply reduce climate-altering pollution from coal-fired power plants, the nation’s leading source of carbon dioxide emissions, has led Texas to push back. According to an article that appeared in the December 28, 2014 edition Houston Chronicle, “The federal proposal calls for Texas to reduce its carbon emissions 39 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.” Texas Law Professor Thomas McGarity, who specializes in government regulation, was quoted in the article as saying, “this regulation hits the status quo harder than any other, and we have powerful economic interests in this state wanting to maintain the status quo.” However, Professor McGarity also noted that “Texas shouldn’t be scared of the target because the state has abundant energy sources other than coal,” and concluded that “technology advances when ‘the pressure is there’ from regulation.”

Thomas McGarity, “It’s David vs. Two Goliath’s in Texas Fracking Fight,” (Inside Climate News)

In an article about the recent historic vote to ban fracking in the college town of Denton – and industry’s lightening-fast response (barely 13 hours after the polls closed on Nov. 4, oil and gas lawyers were in court, suing the town), Inside Climate News quoted Professor Tom McGarity on other cities that might be thinking of enacting similar kinds of legislation. Professor McGarity observed that “If you try to do something like this you’re going to get sued, too.”

David Spence In the News on Fracking Bans

Cities in Texas, California, and Ohio had initiatives on the ballot this fall to ban or restrict hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” the controversial production technique for extracting oil and gas from shale. Professor David Spence has studied these local ordinances (of which there are more than 400 in existence nationwide), and was quoted in coverage of the issue by the Wall Street Journal, the Houston Chronicle, and Bloomberg News this election season. Prof. Spence’s article analyzing the legal issues triggered by local fracking bans will be published in the Texas Law Review later this year.

David Spence, “As Fracking Vote Nears, a City Divided,” (Houston Chronicle)

Professor David Spence was quoted recently in a Houston Chronicle article about a local referendum on the drilling technique that could have national significance. According to the article, “If passed, the proposition would be the first to completely ban the petroleum extraction technique known as hydraulic fracking in one small corner of the great oil and gas boom sate of Texas . . . If the proposal becomes law, both sides expect litigation of epic proportions. Untested legal questions include whether the ban would conflict with the state’s powers to regulate oil and gas extraction.” Spence said, “If it goes down that road . . . that will effectively kills these bans, because no local government can afford to pay those claims.”