Texas: Opinion’s Heat Up on The Clean Power Plan

windmill-584438_640Despite recent opinions that there has been a hiatus in global warming since the late 1990’s, results from the World Meteorological Organisation would advise otherwise. In fact, 2014 was officially the hottest year on record and next week it is expected to confirm this year as a new global record. Indeed, global warming has been a concern for decades, however, with Obama’s Clean Power Plan released this year, the discussion has heated up.

The Clean Power Plan is the focus of President Obama’s climate change agenda and a crucial element in acquiring a global deal on emission reductions at a United Nations meeting in Paris in December. The Clean Power Plan requires every state to cut carbon emission by 32 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2030.  The plan predicts that it will avoid 3,600 premature deaths and 90,000 asthma attacks in children, whilst also reducing the average American’s yearly electricity bill by $84. Nevertheless, opposes of the plan have not been shy about voicing their opinions.

In specific, last month Texas announced that it was leading a 24-state lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. Texas and West Virginia, the nerve center of the coal industry, are leading the opposition. However, on the other hand, recent research by the Environmental Defense Fund has found that the Clean Power Plan will have minimal effects on the state because Texas is already set to meet 88 percent of the carbon emission reduction goals by 2030. Currently, Texas actually leads the nation in wind power generation and is set to become an even bigger exporter of natural gas, wind and solar power.

Moreover, this week it was announced that a few energy utilities, including Austin Energy, joined Calpine in its November court filing in support of the Clean Power Plan. Larry Weis, general manager of Austin Energy, advocated that the state developed its own plan rather than taking defiance stances through lawsuits against the federal government.

In relation to this, the Clean Power Plan could stimulate a new push for increasing technological advances in cleaner ways to burn coal. One way of doing this is through conducting research and development (R&D). R&D can assist firms in creating new technological advances, products, or processes. Furthermore, the federal government, and several state governments, including Texas, provide R&D Tax credits for companies engaging in qualifying R&D activities. The IRIS definition is quite broad and the activities your undertaking could be allowing your firm to produce generous tax savings. Contact us today to talk to a R&D Tax Specialist and find out if you’re eligible.