Horns Down for Feb. 4: Texas' household financial security and EPA regulations


Horns Down: Texas households are financially insecure 

A report released Thursday by the Corporation for Enterprise Development, a national non-profit focused on alleviating poverty, said that 49.8 percent  of Texas households are “liquid asset poor,” meaning they lack funds to pay for three months of basic expenses in the case of a crisis, such as losing a job. According to the Texas Tribune, our state ranks 30th in the country for liquid asset poverty and 37th in overall financial security. In the 2014 Asset and Opportunity scorecard the CFED compiled, Texas ranked 48th in the small business ownership rate, 42nd in the number of low wage jobs and 37th in the number of small business loans made per worker. Considering Republicans often tout our economy as an example that the rest of the nation should follow, these findings are particularly discouraging. We hope that all Texans will soon be able to reap the benefits of our state’s supposed prosperity, rather than just the select few sitting at the top.

Horns Down: Texas’  refusal to Follow EPA Regulations

For the past three years, the Environmental Protection Agency has required energy companies nationwide to apply for greenhouse gas permits, and, for the past three years, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has refused to enact the rules in Texas, arguing it is illegal for the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases. As a result, many local energy companies have had to apply for the permits directly with the EPA, leading to a substantial backlog in applications. Sunday, the Texas Tribune reported that this backlog has hurt Texas businesses, keeping them from being able to fully capitalize on the shale boom. For years, conservatives in Texas have argued that the EPA’s regulations cripple the economy, but, in this case, the opposite seems to be true. We find it disappointing that Texas’ ideological battle with the federal government has gone so far as to hurt business in our state, and we hope that this situation will compel the TCEQ to step up and follow through on EPA requirements.