The culmination of September and the start of October have been action-packed for Public Citizen. This week we pushed to make the state of Texas realize that climate change must be considered when new coal plants and other facilities are approved. On Tuesday, Public Citizen sued the Texas Comission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to require the commission to regulate global warming gasses. As explained in several media outlets including the Philadelphia Inquirer, the lawsuit seeks to extend to Texas law the precedent set in a lawsuit by 12 states against the Bush administration in 2007. In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that carbon dioxide is a pollutant under the federal Clean Air Act and that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must regulate it. In a statement we released, Tom “Smitty” Smith, the director of our Texas office drove home just how serious this issue is.
“Texas leads the nation in the emissions of global warming gases. If we were a nation, we would rank seventh in emissions among the countries on earth. The time has come for the TCEQ to take its head out of the sand and begin the process to regulate CO2 emissions from Texas sources. Because the agency will not do so on its own, we are seeking to have a Texas court order it to do so.”
This lawsuit comes at a critical time as Congress begins to consider unprecedented legislation that would regulate man-made greenhouse gases.
Here are some other stories to check out:
- Just over a year ago our country suffered a financial collapse. The debate on financial regulation continues and nothing has seemed to improve. No new rules have been created to prevent this crisis from happening again, Wall Street still holds significant political power and banks are bigger than ever. Our president, Robert Weissman, elaborates on this issue in a Roll Call special report.
- As we blogged about earlier, Lori Wallach, director of our Global Trade Watch program spoke with Democracy Now! from Pittsburgh while attending the G-20 summit. She warned the G-20 to “Just say No” to financial deregulation supported by the Word Trade Organization. Wallach was quoted in a Foreign Policy in Focus article by John Fetter, in which she discusses the contradictory plan of the G-20 leaders to increase regulation in the financial sector to avoid the next economic crisis and at the same time complete the implementation of the WTO Doha Round, which would add to financial deregulation. Check out what our Eyes on Trade Blog has to say about the outcome of the G-20.
- The Wall Street Journal quoted Peter Lurie, the deputy director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group on an FDA internal review, which greatly criticized the 2008 approval of a medical knee device. In a statement released by Public Citizen Lurie said that the investigation on ReGen Biological’s collagen scaffold device, Menaflex, confirmed that the FDA approval of the device was ridden with corruption. Interference from the company and members of Congress as well as not following customary FDA practices were all cited within the report. Public Citizen has opposed the approval of this device since June when we provided testimony before Congress to bring attention to both its procedural and scientific problems.
- Michael Moore dropped by our offices to tell President Obama it is time to back a single-payer plan and provide health insurance for all Americans. Ironically, at the same time across town the Senate Finance Committee was voting to keep a public insurance option out of health care legislation in front of the Senate. You can read more about this in Dana Milbank’s column in The WaPo. The visit was also mentioned in Politico, an editorial by Judith Warner of the New York Times, and The Olympian.