Yawn. Rick Perry Sues The EPA…Again

Texas filed a petition in federal court last week to block the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) that will require states to reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, most of which come from coal-fired power plants.  It’s a case of Texas versus the EPA, round eight and counting.

In a letter sent to President Obama on Sept. 26, Governor Perry said the implementation of the CSAPR will have an “immediate and devastating effect on Texas jobs, our economy and our ability to supply the electricity our citizens, schools and employers need.”

Perry and his administration have yet to meet a health safety rule they like. This political banter is said to be pro-business, preventing Texans from losing jobs. Yet this comes from the same administration that cut 49,000 teacher positions and 6,000 state employee jobs earlier this year. Perry claims that the rule will kill jobs in Texas. Why doesn’t he care about the pollution that kills Texas’ children?

Earlier this month, Perry stated that “the Obama Administration continues to put up road blocks for our nation’s job creators by imposing burdensome regulations based on assumptions, not facts, that will result in job losses and increased energy costs with no definite environmental benefit.”

No definite environmental benefit? The CSAPR will improve air quality, provide increased protection for sensitive ecosystems, and improve visibility in national and state parks. Nationally, this rule will save up to 34,000 lives, prevent 400,000 asthma attacks, and avoid 1.8 million lost sick days each year. In Texas alone, up to 1,704 lives will be saved each year. The state will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the 27 states to which this rule applies.

Perry went on to say, “yet again, this administration is ignoring Texas’ proven track record of cleaning our air while creating jobs, opting instead for more stifling red tape.”

I hope Governor Perry doesn’t break his arm when patting himself on the back for the air quality in Texas. A new report released by Environment Texas on Sept. 14 cites smog pollution in seven Texas cities among the smoggiest nationwide, putting residents’ health at risk. This report ranks cities in Texas and across the country for the number of days when the air was unhealthy to breathe from 2010-2011.

Perry has stated, ‘I will always err on the side of life.’ His rhetoric certainly conflicts with his actions. The new air pollution rule will not only save the lives of Texans, but also bordering states that feel the effects of pollution from power plants here in the Lone Star State. It’s time that we make air quality a priority in Texas, and stop allowing coal plants to dirty our air and poison our families.

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  1. JGwen
    Posted September 30, 2011 at 6:08 AM | Permalink

    As a young adult in Chicago, I spent almost 20 years living directly across the street from U. S. Steel’s functioning open-hearth furnaces. They were working and we did enjoy a light coating from the coal-dust each day. I am here many years later to assure you, I have suffered no identifiable ill effects from my long term “exposure.”

    What I am experiencing ill effects from are – the half-witted energy policies being foist upon us. The United States, including the Maryland, economies that are tumbling over the cliff with debt, are in no position to provide $1 for your environmental foolishness/subversion. I am well aware of your “watermelon” philosophies and objectives.

    I will be fully opposing any candidate or incumbent who foolishly supports “green” initiatives. In my book, if one’s environment impacts detrimentally on one’s health, they need to move to a more favorable environment. I will fully support any candidate who would bring this madness under control.

    I will be continuing to support Governor Perry’s run for the Presidency and if he isn’t successful, will only support candidates/incumbents who fully share his philosophies!

  2. R.L.Hails Sr. P.E.
    Posted September 30, 2011 at 7:52 AM | Permalink

    Yawn is the wrong word. A scream, from the Environmental Defense Fund, would convey their true reaction to the news that Gov Perry may become the boss over the EPA. The article’s author, a lawyer, is the EDF Director of the Texas Regional Office, EDF lists seven pages of experts on energy, traditionally the work of engineers and experts in the hard sciences. Yet not one EDF expert is a Professional Engineer with stated experience in developing energy infrastructures, e.g. a coal fired power plant.. They are almost exclusively lawyers, journalists, economists, and a few with life science backgrounds. Many have worked with or for the EPA. I doubt is any have ever voted Republican. This is our problem; we have evolved into tribes which hate one another. The goal, in the next election, will be to destroy the other side.

    The author was key in forcing Texas to cancel plans to build a dozen new coal plants, thus terminating the careers of thousands of engineers, constructors and operators. Perry’s candidacy is seen as pay back time and may be successful, in one sense.

    Since the EPA was created, America has driven our heavy smoke stack industries overseas. Their industrial jobs went with them. America is blessed with centuries of high grade coal; it is the source of half of our electricity. The alternative “green” energy technologies have a common characteristic, they are very, very expensive. The people who have engineered real power plants know this. (I have engineered a score of nukes and two score fossil fueled plants.) The coming vote will determine what energy path we take, for many decades to come. It is a matter of national life and death.

    Yawn is the wrong word.

  3. Jeff Nottingham
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 12:23 PM | Permalink

    This August Texas initiated repeated electricity curtailments, shutting off power to industrials, due to crisis level shortages of electric capacity. In July and August the grid frequently came within one unexpected power plant outage of rolling blackouts across the state. The EPA decision has already resulted in one major power producer announcing the closure of two plants in January. My guess is the author of this article doesn’t live in TX and therefore hasn’t a clue and doesn’t care, but is operating on long held talking points. The EPA position will have grievous consequences.

  4. none
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 6:24 PM | Permalink


    There are thousands of these ‘fracking stations’ in towns that border Dallas, and more are slated to be erected in Dallas!

  5. none
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

    I understand you are talking about sulfur dioxide, and I wholeheartedly agree it should be banned, but so should fracking. There is an MIT professor who has spoken about how to eliminate most of the sulfur dioxide from emissions. I would like to see that take effect.I would like to know more about it. There was also a physicist who traveled to the midlothian power plant several years ago, He was on a television show and demonstrated how he was able to condense large amounts of the smoke and emissions into minute amounts, the size of a cookie, so why have we not heard more about this strategy? Why have we not implemented it across the board? The television stations should have records of when it aired.

  6. none
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 7:04 PM | Permalink

    I don’t agree that lowering emissions, sulfur dioxide, or even banning it will affect economy, jobs. Fracking is going to take a toll on everybody within a fifty mile radius. Oxygen is not overrated. I feel like if we had adequate levels we would all feel better cause even a minor lack of it can make you feel sick. The ozone is so thick around Dallas, you could slice it with a butter knife. You guys are smart. You fix it for us.

  7. none
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 7:21 PM | Permalink

    ..and the only reason I am commenting is that the toxic gas, chemicals, pollutants, have put me on the ground more than a time, or two, lately. It will make you sick, really sick. So sick that I thought death would be less painful. Barnett Shale is not just inconvenient. It should be declared a disaster. If people cared about other people they would not be exposing them to deadly gas, chemicals, and burnoff. They would not be allowed to drill near people or drill sideways under someone else’s property, putting them in danger of explosions, leaks, fumes, and earthquakes. How strangely inconvenient that insurance does not allow for earthquakes, since they are natural disasters, while the gas companies deny they were the cause. If they can use this excuse, then that is MY air they are taking!

  8. Tom Maher
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

    1,704 lives? You really think the science is that exact? You probably think the incredibly complex global climate has been modeled exactly and is all settled science based on comparison to 100 years of weather records instead of 5 billion years of geologic record. Asthma cases should be plummeting based on the vast improvement of air quality since the early to mid 20th century.

    Do you ever stop to balance your death count by the multitude of deaths that are prevented by the reliable and plentiful supply of electricity?