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GOP Congressmen Defend TCEQ

By BJ Austin

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-959699.mp3

Dallas, TX – Ennis Congressman Joe Barton wants the Environmental Protection Agency to recognize the progress Texas has made in air quality as a step toward ending a regulatory feud over greenhouse gases.

Barton: We've decreased ozone in the state about 22% in the last ten years, and 40% in the last 20 years.

In Fort Worth Friday, Barton and colleague Louie Gohmert of East Texas got a first hand look at a new air quality monitoring truck and other equipment employed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Congressman Gohmert says the TCEQ is doing its job, and the EPA needs to butt out.

Ghomert: Texas has made more progress in our air quality improvement, and yet here they come. The EPA is going to come in and take charge. The Clean Air Act does not give them that responsibility. It's given to the TCEQ.

Congressman Barton says a bill to ban the EPA from regulating the so-called greenhouse gases should come to the floor of the U.S. House in the next couple of weeks.

The EPA says the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed federal regulation of greenhouse gases.

At a congressional hearing in Houston yesterday, the EPA said Texas's air permitting program does not offer the same level of health protection as other states.