Texas AG Files Action Against EPA
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today filed a legal challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to disapprove the State’s Flexible Permits Program.
Governor Rick Perry cheered the move, saying in a separate release, “This legal action is the next step in our ongoing commitment to fight back against the Obama Administration’s ever-widening effort to undermine our air quality initiatives and force a heavy-handed federal agenda on the people of Texas.”
The EPA and Texas have battled for several years over the state’s flexible permit program. Earlier this year, the EPA let the state know it would officially disapprove of the process.
Environmental groups say the the flexible permit allows large plants to average out their pollution output. They say that allows some of the worse polluting stations in a plant to continue to spew toxic emissions. The state contends the program has reduced emissions and complied with all applicable federal Clean Air Act requirements.
State officials have argued a dramatic change to the current permitting program could hurt the state’s economy. Governor Perry echoed that sentiment today.
“The EPA’s overreach is as potentially devastating as it is unnecessary, as Texas has achieved greater improvements in air quality than the nation as a whole since 2000 through our use of incentives and innovation. Instead of worrying about cleaner air, the EPA seems intent upon putting the jobs of tens of thousands of hardworking Texans at risk, mainly so the EPA can impose a system it says will be easier for Washington bureaucrats to understand.”
The State’s petition for reconsideration was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans. You can read the suit below.