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Texas Loses Court Round With EPA

By BJ Austin, KERA News

Dallas, TX – Texas loses its court battle to stop the EPA from issuing new greenhouse gas permits to new and expanding industry in the state. KERA's BJ Austin reports.

An appeals court in Washington DC ruled that Texas did not meet the stringent standards required for a court-ordered stay of the EPA permitting. Texas is the only state refusing to issue new, federally ordered, greenhouse gas permits.

A statement from the Texas Attorney General's office says the ruling does not reach the heart of the state's over-arching claim that the EPA doesn't have the legal authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act.

Attorney General Abbott says this is a huge issue for the Courts and Congress.

Abbott: The courts clearly understand what is at stake here -- the legal magnitude of the issues that we are litigating. So this is going to play out in the courts, but also it will be playing out in Congress because Congress, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, believe that the EPA is over-reaching here.

Jen Powis, with the Texas Sierra Club, says the state's pollution output is evidence that the EPA is not over-reaching.

Powis: Texas has the worst air quality in the nation; leading the nation in volatile organic compounds, mercury emissions, Nox emissions, and of course carbon emissions as well.

The EPA holds a public hearing on Texas air quality in Dallas Friday.

Email BJ Austin