This has been brewing for some time now, but finally the big showdown between the Lonestar State and the Environmental Protection Agency is here.
Last Thursday the EPA essentially told Texas it was not responsible enough to regulate its own greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, the EPA said it will assume responsibility for the carbon dioxide permitting process starting on January 2nd.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday effectively declared Texas unfit to regulate its own greenhouse gas emissions and took over carbon dioxide permitting of any new or expanding industrial facilities starting Jan. 2.
The EPA also set up a framework for regulating greenhouse gas emissions in seven other states: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Oregon and Wyoming. In addition, the agency set a timetable on establishing regulated levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
The action will give the EPA permitting authority over refineries, power plants and cement facilities in Texas, the agency said, but will not affect small pollution source facilities, such as restaurants and farms.
Governor Rick Perry has promised to fight the EPA’s actions:
Perry spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said the state’s lawsuit against the EPA is continuing in an effort to prove the agency never was given authority by Congress to regulate greenhouse gases.
“The EPAs 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,” Cesinger said.
She said the state’s flexible air quality permitting system led to a 22 percent reduction in ozone and a 53 percent decrease in nitric oxide emissions since 2000.
This is the latest evidence that President Obama is pursuing his agenda through regulation over legislation. Yesterday I posted an article about regulation plans to incentivize doctors to offer end-of-life advise to Medicare patients. That is very similar to the death panel plans that were removed from the ObamaCare.
Texas hasn’t exactly been the kindest state to Obama’s agenda either. It has refused to spend stimulus and bailout funds the way Washington wants it to. It added four congressional seats to its already bright red Republican color. And it has a Governor that has been very vocal about Washington’s strong arm tactics to coerce states into compliance.
January 2nd may be the date that the EPA is set to take over the permit process in Texas, but it will not be the date that Texas backs down from this fight. After all, our slogan is Don’t mess with Texas!