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Texas Challenging EPA & Midday Roundup

By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX –

Texas is taking the federal government to court over a ruling that says greenhouse gases present a danger to human health.

Gov. Rick Perry and other state officials announced Tuesday that Texas has filed an appeal in federal court and plans to formally ask the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its decision.

Texas leads the nation in greenhouse gas emissions, and Perry says the state's industry and agriculture would be harmed by the EPA actions.

The EPA in December issued an "endangerment" finding about carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, saying the pollutants can harm people. The ruling set the stage for future rules restricting emissions.

EPA officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Link To Legal Petition

All Oncor electricity restored after DFW snowstorm

An electric utility says all power has been restored following a snowstorm that affected more than 500,000 Texas customers. Oncor Electric Delivery on Tuesday had all customers back on line.

Oncor says crews late Monday completed restoring power to the Dallas-Fort Worth area after last week's snow that that brought down trees and dragged along power lines. Oncor says some customers could have spotty outages in the coming weeks "until weakened and damaged limbs or trees are removed."

The winter weather included a record 12.5 inches of snow in the Dallas area by last Friday.

Oncor operates the largest distribution and transmission system in Texas, delivering electricity to more than 3 million homes and businesses.

Pardon requested for Texas man who died in prison

Attorneys for a man who died in prison after wrongly being convicted of rape have filed for a pardon with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. Tim Cole's pardon application was mailed to Austin on Monday by the Innocence Project of Texas.

Cole, an Army veteran, died behind bars in 1999 at age 39. He was convicted of a 1985 rape of a Texas Tech student in Lubbock. A 2008 DNA test cleared Cole and implicated convicted rapist Jerry Wayne Johnson, who confessed in letters to court officials beginning in 1995.

Cole's family has been asking for a pardon from Gov. Rick Perry, who was sympathetic but maintained he legally could not issue a posthumous pardon.

Last month, Attorney General Greg Abbott ruled that the Texas constitution limits pardon power only in cases of treason or impeachment.

Woman dies after walking into train in Dallas

A pedestrian wearing a hooded jacket has been killed by a commuter train in Dallas.

The woman walked into a Trinity Railway Express train, which links Dallas and Fort Worth and carries about 10,000 passengers daily, during afternoon rush hour Monday.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit spokesman Morgan Lyons says the industrial area was closed for two hours after the accident. Lyons says witnesses said the woman went around the crossing arms and "just walked into the side of the train."

Lyons says the woman, whose name was not immediately released, wore clothing from a nearby hotel. A cell phone was recovered. Lyons says investigators do not know if she had been on the phone when she died.

Lyons says the area is about 100 yards east of where a male pedestrian was struck and killed last week.

Southwest Airlines adding service at Logan Airport

Southwest Airlines is taking aim at US Airways as it expands at Logan International Airport.

The Dallas-based airline announced Tuesday it was starting up nonstop service between Boston and Philadelphia on June 27. Southwest will offer five daily flights, expanding its current service from Logan to Baltimore and Chicago's Midway Airport.

Airline spokesman Brad Hawkins says Southwest is aggressively courting business fliers currently using US Airways, which has a hub in Philadelphia. Some passengers currently pay walkup fares exceeding $1,000.

Southwest is working with the Massachusetts Port Authority to add a third gate at Logan's Terminal E to support the new service this summer.