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EPA Will Regulate Greenhouse Gases in Texas, Court Rules

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A federal court has shot down a bid by Texas to keep the Obama administration from regulating greenhouse gases in the Lone Star State.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled Wednesday that the Environmental Protection Agency can take over the permitting of carbon dioxide emissions in Texas, Politico reported.

It was the third time in two months that the request by Republican Gov. Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbott was rejected in court.

In December, the appeals panel agreed to stay federal enforcement regulations temporarily. That halt was lifted Wednesday, with the judges stating in a one-page decision that state officials "have not satisfied the stringent standards required for a stay pending court review."

The state still has other lawsuits pending that more broadly challenge the government's regulation authority, according to the Texas Tribune.

Perry did not immediately comment on the ruling. Abbott's office released a statement insisting Wednesday's ruling "did not reach the heart of the State's claim and does not affect Texas' ability to continue pursuing its legal challenge against the agency."

But David Doniger, policy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Climate Center, told Politico the state is running out of legal options to keep the EPA at bay.

"It's time for Rick Perry to stop grandstanding and look at this practically," Doniger said.

The EPA's new greenhouse gas rules, which went into effect Jan 2., require stricter pollution-control technology for utilities and other power providers.

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The EPA was established by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. The voting was unanimous in the Senate and 372-15 in the House. All of Texas' votes were affirmative. What has changed? Global warming has put a spotlight on carbon emissions, primarily from burning fossil fuels. While Texas in clearly committed to improving its energy efficiency (, the oil industry that so dominates is just as clearly opposed to any regulation. California has already seen large investments and job growth in cleantech developments. Texas could do the same, but probably not without impacting other industries. Who will win? For now, the courts, including the Supreme Court have sided with EPA.

January 13 2011 at 2:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The reason this is really happening to Texas is because they just picked up 4 additional seats in the House, and they have the best economy in terms of number of jobs created over the last 2 years. By having the EPA issue (or more likely not issue) permits, the left wing Administration is hoping to convert Texas back to being Democrat. He doesn't understand that Texas is not a State, but is a State of Mind. And, just as the Texans fought against Santa Ana for freedom from an oppressive government, we will fight against an oppressive government from Washington D.C. The EPA has done more to send jobs overseas than any other single factor. They have never enforced any regulations, but have only made regulations far stiffer, and impossible to achieve. Companies are forced to buy equipment that never succeeds in achieving the standards set by the EPA, with no return on the investment. These same companies are forced to use third party companies, who prcetice price gouging, to monitor theit emissions. Again, no return on the dollar. Then the liberals show pictures like the one in this article, in an effort to convince the masses that companies are poluting. The cloud seen coming from the stack in the picture is water vapor. The process of combustion creates CO2 and Water. My guess is the picture was taken on a cold day, because the cold air condenses the water vapor faster, and the vapor cloud makes it appear to be much worse, in terms of poluting. This is typical environmentists tactics, to sell water vapor clouds as a polutant, so that they can condemn oil companies.

January 13 2011 at 3:59 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

China is already investing nearly twice as much as we are in clean energy, $35 billion vs. $19 billion in 2009. They are world leaders in efficient coal-fired power plants.

On April 2, 2007, in Massachusetts v. EPA, the Supreme Court found that greenhouse gases are air pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act, giving EPA the authority to regulate such emissions.

January 13 2011 at 1:53 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

Maybe the EPA could regulate China to level the playing field.

January 13 2011 at 12:19 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

This is obviously Obama's end run around Cap and Trade legislation that he could not get past the Congress. Its all about a no-nothing administration sucked in by Gore's fictitious manmade global warming conspiracy to make millions by pedaling useless "green" products. Just watch the prices of all energy skyrocket as Obama takes advantage of this EPA ruling to grab and control more of the nation's economy and put it in the hands of useless government bureaucrats.

January 12 2011 at 10:31 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to nmscl's comment

The EPA has been in place for years and Texas has been following them somewhat but this has nothing to do with Obama is has to do with the pollution or control of pollution.

January 13 2011 at 4:54 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

"Under my plan, the cost of electricity will necessarily skyrocket." Yep....GREAT plan.....coming soon to a state near you.

January 12 2011 at 10:25 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply

clinton appointed judges..all states will soon follow suit..

January 12 2011 at 10:16 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

This will end up in the Supreme Court and will be ruled in favor of Texas. The federal government can only regulate interstate commerce. How businesses are run INSIDE of an individual state falls under states rights to be a self-governing entity. So, unless that state is violating another state or violating the sovereignty of the United States, they can set their own air pollution regulations. Otherwise, for instance, Texas would have to abide by California's recent regulatory statutes. The FDA will learn that it cannot make such sweeping edicts under the Constitution.

January 12 2011 at 9:58 PM Report abuse +13 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to peapers's comment

All states must follow federal EPA guide lines period. Look it up for yourself and be humbled. California has strictor regulations than the feds. I have been in the field for 15 years having to follow EPA regs in both California and Texas.

January 13 2011 at 4:51 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

just what we need more federal involvement

January 12 2011 at 9:38 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply

It's time we take back some from the federal government control and let the states govern themselves more with out being threated with loosing fedral aid. Texas and Arizona are trying.

January 12 2011 at 8:26 PM Report abuse +25 rate up rate down Reply

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