Economic snapshot: The challenge of meeting Texas’ power needs

Bernard Weinstein, an economist and associate director of SMU's Maguire Energy Institute, talks about the challenge of meeting Texas' power needs.

Between refining andpetrochemical industries along  the Gulf Coast and technology centers in Dallas-Fort Worthand Austin, Texas needs a lot of energy to operate — 476million BTUs per person each year. U.S. energy consumption has been trending upward for decades. Butnow technology is creating greater efficiencies — cars are burning less gasoline, smart meters allow residents to moreclosely monitor their electricity use, manufacturing operations buy more efficient machinery and shed power at times when the grid is overloaded....

“It requires half as much energy input today to create one dollar of GDP than it did 25 years ago. Some of it is government regulation, but a lot of it is market forces responding to high oil prices. Gasoline consumption peaked in 2007 and has been falling ever since." Bernard Weinstein, associate director, SMU’s Maguire Energy Institute