Texas vs. The EPA: A Paradox

Over the past several weeks, Texas has done everything in its power to block EPA measures intended to ensure protection from greenhouse gas pollution emitted from large sources in Texas.  With the Federal Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. expected to make an imminent decision regarding Texas’ latest challenge to EPA’s protective measures, we thought it would be helpful to identify what is at stake:

“Texas admits that it lacks the administrative authority to issue permits for GHGs, and therefore, this is not a case in which EPA has stripped a state of authority that it was previously exercising.  Texas’s central, and paradoxical, complaint here is that EPA is taking away from Texas a power that the state itself claims it cannot, and does not want to exercise.”

  • EPA officials have stated publicly their desire for the State of Texas to take on this responsibility (as all 49 other states have) for themselves.  In a state strategic to the nation’s energy supply and output, the EPA’s actions protect Texas facilities from an interruption in business rather than letting Texas businesses suffer from the uncertainty that the State’s intransigency has created.

The irony in Texas’ current attempt to circumvent federal law is that, if the state is successful, it will bring the construction of new power plants and major industrial facilities to a screeching halt.

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