The EPA's War on Texas

Discussion in 'Environment' started by Trajan, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. Trajan
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    Trajan conscientia mille testes

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    apparently 18 years later the EPA found an "issue" ....interesting. So they pulled their state authority to grant permits. The EPA admits that over 150 projects will be affected for years to come...


    The EPA's War on Texas

    The agency punishes the state for challenging its anticarbon rules.


    The Environmental Protection Agency's carbon regulation putsch continues, but apparently abusing the clean-air laws of the 1970s to achieve goals Congress rejected isn't enough. Late last week, the EPA made an unprecedented move to punish Texas for being the one state with the temerity to challenge its methods.

    To wit, the EPA violated every tenet of administrative procedure to strip Texas of its authority to issue the air permits that are necessary for large power and industrial projects. This is the first time in the history of the Clean Air Act that the EPA has abrogated state control, and the decision will create gale-force headwinds for growth in a state that is the U.S. energy capital. Anyone who claims that carbon regulation is no big deal and that the EPA is merely following the law will need to defend this takeover.

    Since December 2009, the EPA has issued four major greenhouse gas rule-makings, and 13 states have tried to resist the rush. The Clean Air Act stipulates that pollution control is "the primary responsibility of states and local government," and while the national office sets overall priorities, states have considerable leeway in their "implementation plans." When EPA's instructions change, states typically have three years to revise these plans before sending them to Washington for approval.

    This summer, the 13 states requested the full three years for the costly and time-consuming revision process, until the EPA threatened economic retaliation with a de facto construction moratorium. If these states didn't immediately submit new implementation plans to specification, the agency warned, starting in 2011 projects "will be unable to receive a federally approved permit authorizing construction or modification." All states but Texas stood down, even as Texas continued to file lawsuits challenging the carbon power grab.

    Two weeks ago, EPA air regulation chief Gina McCarthy sent the Texas environmental department a letter asserting that the agency had "no choice" but to seize control of permitting. She noted "statements in the media" by Texas officials and their "legal challenges to EPA's greenhouse gas rules," but she cited no legal basis.

    And no wonder. The best the EPA could offer up as a legal excuse for voiding Texas's permitting authority last Thursday was that EPA had erred in originally approving the state's implementation plan—in 1992, or three Presidents ago.

    The error that escaped EPA's notice for 18 years was that the Texas plan did not address "all pollutants newly subject to regulation . . . among them GHGs [greenhouse gases]." In other words, back then Texas hadn't complied with regulations that didn't exist and wouldn't be promulgated for another 18 years.

    more at-

    Review & Outlook: The EPA's War on Texas - WSJ.com
     
  2. westwall
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    westwall USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    It's going to get interesting. Texas I think is going to kick their teeth in.
     
  3. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Ah yes, we have the people that are constantly saying how they are against pollution, then they turn right around and defend this. What a bunch of hypocrites!

    Texas Coal Plant?s 50,000 Air Pollution Violations Lead to Legal Challenge | Earthjustice

    Texarkana, Texas — More than 50,000 air pollution violations at the massive Martin Lake coal-fired power plant led the Sierra Club, represented by Earthjustice and Environmental Integrity Project, to file a lawsuit today in federal court against plant owner Luminant (formerly TXU).

    The Martin Lake plant, located near Longview, Texas, is one of the dirtiest coal plants in the nation. It is the worst power plant for mercury pollution among all U.S. coal plants, emitting 1,764 pounds in 2008, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Toxics Release Inventory. In Texas, Martin Lake ranked third for asthma-causing soot pollution and was responsible for 13 percent of all industrial air pollution in the state.

    The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has ignored years of repeated excessive soot pollution and other violations at the Martin Lake plant, putting the health of nearby communities at risk.
     

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