In a recent letter the Environmental Protection Agency told Texas it is taking over the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from refineries, power plants and cement factories.
The state has been fighting the takeover in court for a year, including filing suit in February in federal court. Texas Gov. Rick Perry said the EPA’s wresting of regulatory control from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality could cost jobs and raise the price of energy.
It is a states’ rights issue and a matter of interpretation of the law.
Gov. Perry’s office wrote in July:
“The EPA opted to disapprove the State’s Flexible Permits Program and impose the federal government’s judgment on the State despite Section 101 of the Clean Air Act, which provides that air pollution prevention ‘is the primary responsibility of the States and local governments.’ Section 110 of the Act provides a similar admonishment to respect the states’ authority, stipulating that ‘[e]ach State shall have the primary responsibility for assuring air quality within the entire geographic area comprising such State.’”
In an editorial Investor’s Business Daily quotes from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s suit against the EPA.
Abbott accuses climate scientists of engaging in an "ongoing, orchestrated effort to violate freedom of information laws, exclude scientific research and manipulate temperature data."
"With billions of dollars at stake, EPA outsourced the scientific basis for its greenhouse gas regulation to a scandal-plagued international organization (the IPCC) that cannot be considered objective or trustworthy," Abbott argued.
Abbott points out in a Dec. 7 press release that Texas is already doing a better job of reducing gas emissions than the EPA. “Emissions data cited by the Governor’s Office indicates that the Texas clean air program achieved a 22 percent reduction in ozone and a 46 percent reduction in NOx, which outpaces the eight percent and 27 percent reductions that were recorded nationally.”
The Houston Chronicle quotes a Perry spokeswoman as saying, "The EPA’s misguided plan paints a huge target on the backs of Texas agriculture and energy producers by implementing unnecessary, burdensome mandates on our state’s energy sector, threatening hundreds of thousands of Texas jobs and imposing increased living costs on Texas families."
Actually, since Texas is such a large energy producer, this EPA regulatory strong-arming could affect jobs and prices all across the country.
Here is what Gov. Perry said at the time of the February suit against EPA: