A Polluter Puppet Show In Houston

The Texas EPA Task Force will be visiting Houston tomorrow to examine the environmental protections being employed and to “[talk] to industry representatives about the affect of over bearing EPA regulations on jobs in the Houston area.”

While Rep. Barton and his colleagues might be quick to apologize for what they feel is government overreach, EPA regulations haven’t stopped ExxonMobil ($10.6 billion) or Shell ($6.29 billion) from making enormous profits in the first quarter of this year.

We have a few suggested stops and notable facts for the “Task Force” to consider while touring the Houston-area:

And when they’re done touring the ship channel, they should visit Texas City, where when the power goes out, the residents stay inside to avoid the tons of pollution flared from the local refineries and chemical plants.

In an instance this week, during a power outage, Valero alone pumped a reported 43,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide into Texas City air.  The outages were caused by soot buildup due to a lack of rainfall.  The emissions were so high in Texas City, residents were told to take “shelter in place,” meaning stay where they were.  The emissions from the plants exceeded the air monitors ability to measure their levels.

If this “Task Force’s” only answer to extreme weather, deplorable air quality and health conditions for Texans and a total absence of meaningful state regulation is to attack the Clean Air Act and pray for rain, then Texas is in trouble.

When our citizens must take shelter from literal pollution attacks, our farmers struggle to find water to irrigate their crops and our children struggle to breath, we must help ourselves.  Now is not the time to play the role of puppet to polluters.  We need real leadership, we need real solutions.

This entry was posted in Air Pollution, Environmental Protection Agency, GHGs, Ozone, Particulate Matter, Ports, TCEQ, Texas Permitting. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.