February 17, 2010

Texas Files Petition Over Emission Regulations

The state of Texas recently filed a petition in a federal court challenging the government's authority to regulate U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Texas will see a major impact if U.S. mandatory emissions reductions take effect, due to its heavy concentration of oil refining and other industries.

The Environmental Protection Agency ruled in December that greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide endanger human health, which opened the door for the agency to mandate regulations to try and reduce them.

Texas, along with several national industry groups, filed a petition for review challenging the EPA's "endangerment finding" with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  Texas also asked the EPA to reconsider its new regulations.

"The EPA's misguided plan paints a big target on the backs of Texas agriculture and energy producers and the hundreds of thousands of Texans they employ," Texas Gov. Rick Perry told Reuters.

On Tuesday, the National Association of Manufacturers, The American Petroleum Institute, and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association said they filed a petition challenging the EPA in federal appeals court.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and U.S. iron and steel makers have also said they will join the battle and file lawsuits.

"Governor Perry should win an Olympic medal for taking the environment downhill," Luke Metzger at Environment Texas told Reuters in an interview. "Global warming is the greatest environmental threat facing Texas and the planet and Governor Perry's obstructionism puts the state at great risk."

Perry has been one of the conservative Republicans warning of job losses in the debate over regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

The EPA is threatening to regulate carbon emissions if Congress decides not too.  The House of Representatives narrowly passed a cap and trade bill in June that would allow industry to buy and trade pollution permits.  The bill has yet to pass through the Senate yet though.

Some Senate Democrats have predicted that comprehensive climate control legislation, like cap-and-trade mechanism, will not pass this year.


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