Texas House To EPA: Don’t Regulate Our Greenhouse Gas

May 20, 2011

The Texas House approved a measure 107-34 today urging US Congress to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas emissions in the Lonestar State.

House Concurrent Resolution 66 (HCR 66) claims that EPA regulations constitute “an abuse of power” and “are projected to cost Texas more than 300,000 jobs” because of higher energy prices and the costs associated with regulatory compliance.

The resolution “respectfully” asks Congress to stop EPA from regulating greenhouse gasses.

The EPA, under the Obama administration, began regulating greenhouse gas emissions at the beginning of the year after Congress failed to pass legislation in 2010. The regulations require industrial polluters to apply for permits from their respective states if they want to expand operations; existing facilities are not affected.

Meanwhile, the Texas House is scheduled to debate Senate Bill 1134 tomorrow, a bill that the Sierra Club says would severely restrict state regulators from limiting harmful emissions from oil and gas production.

"I like to call this bill the oil and gas Cry Baby Bill,” the Sierra Club’s Cyrus Reid said in a statement emailed to KUT News. “ Instead of going through the normal rule-making process, they've come to the Legislature to ask for a special favor -- a two-year time out on new rules that would protect Texans air near the oil and gas facilities." 

A letter from the EPA says SB 1134 would “prevent the implementation of important air quality standards.”

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