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TX Court Battle Over Greenhouse Gases

By BJ Austin, KERA News

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-944745.mp3

Dallas, TX – Texas and the EPA expect a ruling this week from a Washington DC Appeals Court in their battle over greenhouse gases. KERA's BJ Austin reports.

Last month, the EPA announced it would issue new greenhouse gas permits for industry in Texas because the state refuses to do it. Texas is suing the EPA over the new regulation of carbon dioxide and other so-called "greenhouse gases". Last week, an appeals court in Washington DC temporarily blocked the EPA's plans for Texas permits.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott: Texas is refusing to roll over because of the EPA's arbitrary and capricious actions. We believe the EPA is not legally authorized to do what they're doing.

General Abbott says the EPA is violating rules established in the Clean Air Act that require notification, comment, and three years to come up with a plan.

Texas is the only state that has refused to establish a greenhouse gas permit process.

Attorney General Abbott says the Washington Appeals Court has agreed to expedite a decision. And he expects Congress to take up the issue soon.

Abbott: Congress did not authorize the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases. One of the key greenhouse gases the EPA is regulating is carbon dioxide. It is almost the height of insanity of bureaucracy to have the EPA regulating something that is emitted by all living things.

EPA Regional Director Al Armendariz says the EPA has a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on its side.

Armendariz: As a direct result of the Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts vs. the EPA, greenhouse gases are federally regulated pollutants. Any major source of greenhouse gas emissions that undergoes new construction or major modifications is going to need authorization and permits under the Clean Air Act.

Armendariz says Texas leads the nation in carbon dioxide emissions. He says there are 167 businesses that would be affected by the new greenhouse gas permits.

Email BJ Austin