Read below for his full statement.
Administrator McCarthy and Staff:
Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today about this important issue. My name is Chris Wallace. I am the President/CEO of the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce. The Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce is the first 5-star nationally accredited chamber of commerce in Texas, representing 1,817 businesses and more than 150,000 employees.
Our Chamber is the voice of business for the greater Irving area. And our Chamber members are very concerned about the potential impact costly and overly burdensome EPA regulations will have on their ability to create jobs and grow their businesses.
As you know, the success of our economy in Texas depends in large part on our energy companies. Energy companies in Texas contribute billions of dollars to our economy each year and provide tens of thousands of jobs across our state. Therefore, it is critical that Texas businesses and consumers have a voice in the regulatory process to ensure that a proper balance is struck between public health and the need to grow our economy and keep jobs in Texas.
Our Chamber members certainly understand the need to protect air quality in Texas. At the same time, however, they are equally concerned about the unintended consequences of government regulation – free from the checks and balances of the legislative process. And with EPA’s own assertion that it has the authority to regulate greenhouse gasses across the entire economy, these regulations will likely amount to a massive energy tax levied on Texas businesses and passed on to Texas consumers.
On behalf of the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, I urge you to construct reasonable rules that support a robust and diverse energy mix which serves Texas best. And, most importantly, allow Texas businesses and those they employ the flexibility and time needed to adapt to any new rules that are introduced.
A one-size-fits-all approach to carbon emissions is ineffective and inefficient, and it hurts Texas jobs and our economy. EPA should not take action that increases the cost of compliance on businesses and consumers and punishes Texas for ideological purposes. Instead, EPA should implement thoughtful, cost-effective rules that maximize compliance flexibility for impacted businesses and take into consideration potential job loss as a result of heavy-handed federal regulations.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this matter.