FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11/20/2019
REPRESENTATIVE CECIL BELL, JR. RECEIVES OUTSTANDING GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL AWARD
AUSTIN – Representative Cecil Bell, Jr. was honored with the 2019 Texas Energy Summit Outstanding Government Official award in recognition of his leadership to secure stable funding for the Texas Emission Reduction Plan (TERP) to improve air quality and public health for Texans.
The 2019 Texas Energy Summit is hosted by the Energy Systems Laboratory (ESL). The ESL is a division of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and a member of the Texas A&M University System.
During the 86th Legislative Session, Rep. Cecil Bell, Jr. passed House Bill 3745 to improve air quality for all Texans while ensuring that tax dollars are used for the purposes intended. The purpose of the existing TERP is to provide funding for authorized programs intended to improve air quality in regions designated by the EPA as “non attainment,” meaning the EPA standards for air quality have not been met. Currently, the fees and taxes collected are deposited into a dedicated account, the balance exceeding $1.7 billion. At the same time, Texas regions remain in non attainment status.
HB 3745 creates a new trust fund outside of the state treasury and directs future TERP fees and taxes to be deposited in this new trust fund instead of the current dedicated account. The balance in the new trust fund will be available to pay for TERP authorized programs.
Texans want cleaner air and deserve to know their tax dollars are used for the purpose intended. HB 3745 ensures that future TERP fees and taxes collected are available to fully fund TERP, addressing air quality in non attainment regions.
Representative Bell, Jr. is humbled to have been recognized by the Texas Energy Summit for his work on this important issue and hopes that Texans will benefit from cleaner air with the passage of HB 3745.