Texas last holdout on issuing greenhouse gas permits
With states scrambling to align their own rules with U.S. EPA‘s new regulations, which are set to take effect on Jan. 2, 2011 and require regulators to start issuing Clean Air Act permits next year for large stationary sources of greenhouse gas emissions, Texas is now the lone holdout, according to an analysis by the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA). Click here to see a copy of the analysis.
Thirty-six states have already gotten federal approval to begin issuing greenhouse gas permits. The remaining states have been required to explain their plans to EPA. Air officials in seven of those 14 states say their rules will be changed by Jan. 2 or “very shortly thereafter,” (Click here to read the letters from the 14 states). Another six states have told EPA they are willing to adopt the federal program, but some of them would like to issue the permits themselves.
Texas is the only one that won’t revise its rules or accept a federal implementation plan. Texas has decide to remain steadfast in its position after filing several legal challenges to EPA’s climate program, claiming EPA is moving too quickly and forcing states to comply with a “scheme that short-circuits the statutory process for regulating major stationary sources,” according to a letter written by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the EPA in early October. See our earlier post on this issue.
This is not a surprising turn of events given that in early 2007 the Fort Worth Star Telegram reported that “despite warnings from President Bush about global warming — and in the face of what many experts and even industry leaders describe as overwhelming scientific consensus on the issue — top leaders in Texas have continued to question the validity of man-made climate change.” Many of those climate change deniers are still in leadership roles in Texas.
Well, the upside of our leadership taking such a stance is, perhaps Texas can be the subject of a remake of “Inherit the Wind“.