On January 2nd the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new permitting regulations for large stationary polluters went into effect and the state of Texas isn’t at all happy about it. The Lone Star State is in the midst of a lawsuit against the EPA for its new regulations, claiming that the new rules violate the Clean Air Act, and asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to stop the changes from taking effect until their lawsuit is over. Much to our chagrin, the appeals court has agreed and asked the EPA to hold their horses on enforcing restrictions in Texas. What do YOU think?
The new EPA regulations come under the Clean Air Act which gives the EPA the right to regulate emissions that affect the nation’s air quality. The regulations only affect large stationary polluters, such as power plants and larger industrial projects, that are starting new construction or undergoing major upgrades. The rules say that state governments will have one year to comply with the new regulations before the EPA steps in. Well, the state of Texas is open about the fact that it never wants to comply, so the EPA announced they would commence issuing the regulation permits immediately. That’s when Texas sued and now the EPA will have to sit on its hands until the court decides whether the agency is acting lawfully or not.
The state of Texas — and a lot of other state governors — believe that the EPA is stepping outside of their federal bounds by enforcing the emissions regulations and want them to be permanently stopped. “The legal rights guaranteed to the state of Texas cannot be simply overlooked because the administration wants to impose unilaterally its agenda on the American people,” noted Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) in a statement last week. Before this latest appeal, Texas was denied an appeal by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, but it seems they wouldn’t take no for an answer and moved up the ranks to Washington, DC.
For now the stay stands and Texas is the only place in the United States where the EPA’s rules are not lawful. “Texas law does not currently deem greenhouse gases to be pollutants,” Abbott said in his statement.