The EPA and Texas are in a dispute over whether the EPA can legally regulate greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, and whether it has a right to issue greenhouse-gas permits in Texas when the state refuses to do so.
It become necessary on Jan. 2nd for the nation’s largest new industrial expansions – chiefly power plants, cement kilns and major factories – to have permits showing how they will use “best available control technology” to reduce greenhouse gases. That action derived from a 2007 decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court said the Clean Air Act authorizes limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
In every other state except Texas, state agencies began issuing the permits, or plan to do so after their procedures are in place and provided the EPA with a written plan on how they intended to procede. Texas has refused to take part, saying the EPA overstepped its authority and usurped the state’s rights by regulating greenhouse gases. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the state agency charged with regulating air pollution in Texas, has joined Abbott and Perry in opposing the EPA, filing a lawsuit and issuing a written statement saying the state’s position has been well-documented.
On January 14, 2011, scores of Texans backed the Environmental Protection Agency and blasted Texas officials at a hearing in Dallas on the federal takeover of greenhouse-gas permitting in the state. Who didn’t attend the hearing – the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Nearly every speaker who did attend the hearing, however, expressed little or no confidence in Texas officials’ ability or desire to protect the environment.
If you have the time, we invite you to watch our taping of the hearing.
Dallas EPA hearing on CO2 – Part 1 of 4
Dallas EPA hearing on CO2 – Part 2 of 4
Dallas EPA hearing on CO2 – Part 3 of 4
Dallas EPA Hearing on CO2 – Part 4 of 4