A bill from a Texas Republican lawmaker would impose a new tax on wind, solar, coal, and nuclear power generation. State Rep. Ken King’s initiative would impose a 1 cent charge for every kilowatt hour of energy produced. But energy produced from natural gas, the largest source of power in Texas, would be exempt from this charge.
According to King, the measure would bring in funds that could support schools in the Lone Star State. Yet critics are unhappy the charge would not apply to natural gas. Currently, natural gas accounts for 47 percent of electricity consumed in Texas.
If introduced, the charge would likely fall on consumers. This would translate into a $12 increase in a monthly bill for a customer using 1,200 kilowatt hours of power per month.
“It flies against the rhetoric of Texas’ market-based system of electricity, putting the thumb on the scale for natural gas and raising taxes on Texans by $2.3 billion every year,” argued Luke Metzger, executive director of Environment Texas. “It would also discourage wind and solar power, which are reducing pollution, helping us tread more lightly on the planet, and boosting rural economies.”