Texans are doing this without government mandates and we must do more to build upon what Mother Nature is already doing on her own. With 62 million acres potentially available, there is no reason for Texas not to be a leader in this new market that will help to preserve our environment.
But as this market expands, it is important that protocols are established to ensure energy companies are making good faith efforts to reduce their emissions and landowners are protected. In his BCarbon blueprint, Jim Blackburn of Rice University lays out 10 core principles upon which this market should function, including that landowners not be required “to manage their land in any particular fashion.”
If the Lone Star State is to remain the jobs engine of America, it can and must lead on CCUS, while relying on the free market and property rights system that has catapulted our state to a global economic powerhouse.
Fortunately, Texas has the resources to do just that. Through the offset market and carbon sequestration, we can enhance the fossil fuel industry, create low-carbon and reliable energy sources, generate new revenue for our landowners and create jobs for a 21st century economy.
Rob Hughes is the executive director of the Texas Forestry Association and Carl Ray Polk Jr. is a sitting member of the Texas Soil and Water Conservation Board for the State of Texas. Both are advisory board members of the Carbon Neutral Coalition.