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ChiefaRoo
08-25-2010, 06:41 PM
VENABLE: Texas fights global-warming power grab
Lone Star state won't participate in Obama's lawless policy
By Peggy Venable
-
The Washington Times

The state's slogan is "Don't mess with Texas." But the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is doing just that, and at stake is whether the Obama administration can impose its global-warming agenda without a vote of Congress.

President Obama's EPA is already well down the path to regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, something the act was not designed to do. It has a problem, however, because shoehorning greenhouse gases into that 40-year-old law would force churches, schools, warehouses, commercial kitchens and other sources to obtain costly and time-consuming permits. It would grind the economy to a halt, and the likely backlash would doom the whole scheme.

The EPA, determined to move forward anyway, is attempting to rewrite the Clean Air Act administratively via a "tailoring rule," which would reduce the number of regulated sources. The problem with that approach? It's illegal. The EPA has no authority to rewrite the law. To pull it off, the EPA needs every state with a State Implementation Plan to rewrite all of its statutory thresholds as well.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Chairman Bryan W. Shaw saw the tailoring rule for what it really is: a massive power grab and centralization of authority. They are fighting back, writing to the EPA:

"In order to deter challenges to your plan for centralized control of industrial development through the issuance of permits for greenhouse gases, you have called upon each state to declare its allegiance to the Environmental Protection Agency's recently enacted greenhouse gas regulations - regulations that are plainly contrary to U.S. laws. ... To encourage acquiescence with your unsupported findings you threaten to usurp state enforcement authority and to federalize the permitting program of any state that fails to pledge their fealty to the Environmental Protection Agency. On behalf of the State of Texas, we write to inform you that Texas has neither the authority nor the intention of interpreting, ignoring or amending its laws in order to compel the permitting of greenhouse gas emissions."

Texas leaders are doing what Congress so far has been unable to do (a Senate vote to stop the EPA's global-warming power grab got just 47 votes on June 10): take on the EPA. Good thing, because Texas would be hit especially hard by these regulations.

Federalist principles have allowed Texas to become the strongest state in the union. The Lone Star State leads the nation in job creation, is the top state for business relocation and has more Fortune 500 companies than any other state and is the top state for wind generation. President Obama said he wants to double U.S. exports in five years; he could look to Texas, as we are the top exporting state in the country. The Obama administration could learn a lot from Texas.

Instead, it is attempting to ride roughshod over Texas, and it goes beyond the greenhouse-gas issue.

For 16 years, the EPA allowed Texas to run its own permitting program to meet federal air-quality standards. But in May, the agency announced- out of nowhere - that the state is not in compliance with federal regulations. Even though Texas had met its clean-air obligations, the EPA announced it was taking over permitting.

Texas is the nation's energy-production capital, but the air we breathe is cleaner today than it was in 2000, even though the state's population has grown by nearly 3.5 million people. Between 2000 and 2008, Texas' nitrogen oxide levels decreased by 46 percent and ozone levels dropped by 22 percent, compared with national reductions of 27 percent and 8 percent, respectively. All major Texas metropolitan areas meet the 1997 federal eight-hour ozone standard, with the exception of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which is within 1 part per billion of meeting the standard.

According to Department of Energy and EPA data, since 2000, Texas' carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel usage have fallen more than those of almost any other state and every country except Germany as a result of our policies to foster renewable energy, make the electricity market more competitive and efficient, and improve our environment.

When the EPA issued rules to reduce nitrogen oxide and ozone, we complied, but we did it the Texas way.

Now Washington is trying to federalize the air-permitting process and force Texas to ignore our state laws and the plain language of the Clean Air Act in order to allow an illegal rewriting of the federal statute. But Texas has neither "the authority nor the intention" of doing so. The Lone Star State is strong, and so are our leaders - and the law is on our side.

Peggy Venable is Texas state director of Americans for Prosperity.

petegz28
08-25-2010, 06:48 PM
Since when does the EPA care about being legal? They just want control. It has nothing to do with results. It has everything to do with them and their power grab.

Hog Farmer
08-25-2010, 06:50 PM
That's right ! Don't fuck with us !

BIG_DADDY
08-25-2010, 07:09 PM
Since when does the EPA care about being legal? They just want control. It has nothing to do with results. It has everything to do with them and their power grab.

Pretty much.

healthpellets
08-25-2010, 07:20 PM
Since when does the EPA care about being legal? They just want control. It has nothing to do with results. It has everything to do with them and their power grab.

i love it when they do this kind of crap, and then people are like "well why doesn't state X just do what they're asking? it's better for the environment anyway, so why wouldn't they?"

ya man...gezzus. just do it. who cares about the legal way of doing things.

Chief Henry
08-26-2010, 02:50 AM
"Federalize air permitting process" :spock:

BucEyedPea
08-26-2010, 06:48 AM
The state's slogan is "Don't mess with Texas." But the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is doing just that, and at stake is whether the Obama administration can impose its global-warming agenda without a vote of Congress.
This is disturbing too. Like good little fascists.

healthpellets
08-26-2010, 06:57 AM
This is disturbing too. Like good little fascists.

don't call the lefties fascists. they get so angry...

orange
08-26-2010, 07:34 AM
EPA Says Texas Lawsuit Will Not Thwart Enforcement of 'Tailoring' Rule

Texas's claim that it doesn't have to comply with the 2011 greenhouse gas rule deadline is unsubstantiated, says agency

by Elizabeth McGowan - Aug 10th, 2010 in Clean Air Act Environmental Protection Agency EPA Texas

WASHINGTON—The unofficial motto of the Lone Star State might be "Don't Mess With Texas." But do state officials really expect federal authorities to heed such a maxim?

When it comes to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), evidently the answer is yes.

Via lawsuit and letter, Texas has fired off the fiercest opposition yet to the EPA's efforts to deploy what's known as the "tailoring" rule to regulate carbon dioxide from power plants, energy-intensive industries and other stationary sources.

In their six-page letter dated Aug. 2, Texas attorney general Greg Abbott and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality chairman Bryan Shaw came right out and said they are refusing to comply with the January 2011 tailoring rule deadline.

"On behalf of the State of Texas, we write to inform you that Texas has neither the authority nor the intention of interpreting, ignoring or amending its laws in order to compel the permitting of greenhouse gas emissions," they wrote to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Alfredo Armendariz, regional administrator for EPA Region 6 in Dallas.

Tom Smith, longtime executive director of the Texas office of Public Citizen, told SolveClimate News in an interview from his Austin office that the vociferous challenge isn’t all that shocking.


Smith said the leader of the EPA's Air and Radiation Office, Gina McCarthy, understands the difficulties and intricacies of the Clean Air Act and the tailoring rule.

"I think the tailoring rule is fair," he said. "She hoped by coming up with a multistage rule, she could appear reasonable and not break the backs of state agencies and create an impossible regulatory morass. But states like Texas make this impossible."

This week, the EPA labeled Texas's claims as unsubstantiated. An EPA spokeswoman said neither the letter nor the lawsuit will deter the agency from marching forward with its tailoring rule mandate.


"EPA's measured steps are in response to a Supreme Court decision (EPA vs. Massachusetts) issued more than three years ago," spokeswoman Enesta Jones wrote in an e-mail response. "We are not at liberty to ignore the law, and the letter's unsubstantiated claims are the same sort that have been made — and ultimately proven wrong — every time EPA has, over the past 40 years, moved to implement the Clean Air Act's protections of public health and welfare."

Currently, the White House Office of Management and Budget is reviewing a rule that could empower the EPA to enforce federal regulations on greenhouse gases if states choose not to cooperate.

Texas Seeking Friendly Appeals Court

State authorities had until early August to let the EPA know if they would need to rewrite state laws or regulations to meet tailoring rule restrictions.

No doubt, the final tailoring rule released in June has drawn other EPA challengers. For instance, Mississippi and Alabama are among the 17 other states, trade associations, businesses and even environmental organizations that are less than satisfied with its requirements. For example, the Center for Biological Diversity has filed a lawsuit against the EPA, calling on the agency to set a science-based national pollution cap for greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

Bill Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies was unavailable for comment. However, in an earlier interview with Energy & Environment Publishing, he said other states are making good faith efforts to meet the tailoring rule deadline — even where governors are less than enamored with the EPA's efforts to curb heat-trapping gases via the Clean Air Act.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry called the tailoring rule arbitrary, capricious and "contrary to the Clean Air Act" in the lawsuit filed against the EPA Aug. 2 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Smith said he didn't know if Texas has standing to file the lawsuit but they likely have a sympathetic appeals court.

"Most importantly, they have a Fifth Circuit Appeals Court that has tended to be pro states' rights, pro industrial polluters and weak on environmental protection," Smith said. "What they are looking to do is create uncertainty. That's essential to getting an issue back before the Supreme Court to challenge the breadth of EPA regulations beyond tailpipes."


Interestingly, Smith pointed out, the 1992 Rio de Janeiro United Nations Earth Summit spurred Texas to become one of the first states to authorize its agencies to act on greenhouse gases in a manner consistent with federal law.

"That's why we believe the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has the authority to comply with the tailoring rule," Smith said. "But it was never acted upon."


That inaction prompted Public Citizen to file an October 2009 lawsuit against the Commission on Environmental Quality that would essentially force the state agency to meet greenhouse gas emissions permitting standards that the EPA is requiring with its tailoring rule. A trial is expected to begin this November, Smith said.

If the Texas commission continues to act like a rogue agency, he said, EPA officials eventually have the right to step in and take over permitting and enforcement functions.

"I don't think there's a provision for fining them or sending out a bad report card to anybody," Smith concluded.

Is This Politics as Usual?


The tailoring rule for large stationary pollution sources is being rolled out Jan. 2, in tandem with a timeline for mobile sources that requires auto manufacturers to meet greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and light trucks.

Large industries already required to obtain New Source Review permits for other pollutants also will have to include greenhouse gases among those permits if their emissions of those gases grows by a minimum of 75,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually. Initially, the tailoring rule will require about 550 power plants, landfills and other industrial facilities to obtain permits for emissions.

The idea with an incremental rule was to offer a break to apartment buildings, hospitals, schools and other nonindustrial emitters. An estimated 900 additional polluters will come under regulatory review each year thereafter as smaller emitters are added.

Clearly, however, Texas doesn't want any of it. In their letter, Abbott and Shaw accused the EPA of demanding a loyalty oath.

"Indeed, it is an affront to the congressionally established judicial review process for EPA to force states to pledge allegiance to its rules ... on the final day by which states must exercise their statutory right to challenge those same rules," they wrote.

Cyrus Reed, conservation director with the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, hypothesizes that Gov. Rick Perry is playing the pro-Texas card during an election year.

The three-term Republican governor (he became governor in 2000 when George W. Bush resigned to become president) is in a less-than-settled contest with Democrat Bill White, the former three-term mayor of Houston.

"In Texas, it's a standard way of operating, to be belligerent toward EPA," Reed said in an interview. "They have been acting like President Obama came in and became an activist, and now the EPA is taking over.

It's good politics to bash EPA by saying it is overstepping its bounds. But the subtext might be more political than real."

http://solveclimate.com/blog/20100810/epa-says-texas-lawsuit-will-not-thwart-enforcement-tailoring-rule

BucEyedPea
08-26-2010, 07:57 AM
don't call the lefties fascists. they get so angry...

That's an indication it's TRUE! :D

BucEyedPea
08-26-2010, 08:00 AM
[INDENT][INDENT]EPA Says Texas Lawsuit Will Not Thwart Enforcement of 'Tailoring' Rule

You either quote courts, a judge, a snake like Hamilton and now a govt agency but rarely the document itself that matters. These guys are part of the problem—or the enemy. Your post is another indication of the fascism of your camp.

Time to reinstate the Declaration of Independence!