“Don’t Mess With Texas” was the battle cry and message sent to the Obama Administration and Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) attempt of federal government overreach in court Tuesday.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in favor of Texas and invalidated the EPA’s emissions budget forced on the state under the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.
“In Texas we create air quality improvements through science and facts,” stated Attorney General Ken Paxton. “The EPA’s agenda-driven mandates would have increased energy costs for hard-working Texans and decreased reliability. I’m pleased the court has sent the EPA marching back to the drawing board.”
“We will continue to fight the EPA’s overreach while ensuring Texas can keep our air clean without wreaking havoc on family budgets,” Paxton added.
The Court remanded the matter to the EPA to promptly issue lawful emissions budgets for Texas.
Before the matter went to the Court, Paxton said that the Obama Administration’s latest Environmental Protection Agency plan “is an example of the president forcing through what he couldn’t accomplish legislatively.”
Paxton warned that the results of EPA’s “Carbon Rule” program will mean higher electricity costs and less reliability for Texas “while doing little to nothing to affect the environment.”
“This program will result in the premature retirement of existing power plants, damaging the reliability of our electric grid, and resulting in significantly higher energy costs for businesses and consumers alike,” Paxton stated. “Overregulation stifles growth, kills existing jobs and hinders the creation of new ones. That’s why we fight, and that’s why we’ll continue to fight back against the EPA’s Carbon Rule.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who has been studying compliance costs for the Carbon Rule, indicate Texas taxpayers will have to come up with more than $28 billion annually through 2030 to pay for the plan. Critics point out that Texas’ costs due to EPA required reductions would be enormously out of proportion compared to other states.
The studies show that Texas produces 11 percent of the electricity in the United States, but “would be required to contribute 18 percent of the overall national reduction. In order to meet that mandate, Texas would have to slash carbon emissions by 38 percent.”
Texas has confirmed that it can clean its air without abolishing the energy sector. The Attorney General’s office cited that the State reduced emissions by almost twice as much as states “such as California” from 2000 to 2010.
Paxton refered to facts that show that in the last 15 years of fast population and economic growth, nitrogen oxide and ozone levels are down and Texans are breathing cleaner air.
Last month Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Texas Senator John Cornyn met in Washington, D.C. to discuss the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest overreach attempts.
Focusing on the EPA’s upcoming and proposed rules, the political leaders outlined the concerns and potential consequences for Texas.
“The EPA’s latest attempt at imposing burdensome regulations represents an unprecedented meddling with Texas in order to push the Obama Administration’s liberal climate change agenda,” Gov. Abbott stated. “The EPA’s newest suite of rules, led by the Clean Power Plan, seeks unprecedented control over the State’s energy mix that will certainly result in higher energy prices for Texans and will threaten the reliability of Texas’ electric grid.”
“During my conversation with Senator McConnell today, I, along with my fellow Texas leaders, expressed grave concerns that the EPA’s proposed action will burden Texas far more than any other state, killing jobs and stagnating Texas’ unprecedented economic growth, and I offered my full support for his efforts to fight this federal government overreach,” Abbott continued.
Governor Abbott has been particularly effective in protecting Texas against EPA overreach. As the State’s Attorney General, he was especially victorious against the Obama Administration, when in March 2012, he won a second victory in three months for Texas against the EPA when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s came back with a strong decision against the Department.
It was a major blow to EPA and Obama, when the Court overturned the EPA’s improper disapproval of Texas’ Pollution Control Project (PCP) Standard Permit.
“Showing seemingly no regard for the federal laws that govern what it can and cannot do, the EPA unlawfully disapproved a commonsense Texas air permitting program that fully complied with the federal Clean Air Act and reduced harmful emissions,” said Abbott, who filed a challenge against the EPA on February 9, 2012.
“The EPA disregarded the limited authority it was granted under federal law and incorrectly alleged that Texas would not act sensibly and in accordance with its own laws,” Abbott stated in a release. “This victory marks the second time in the last three months that Texas has successfully obtained relief from the courts after an unlawful overreach by the EPA.”
Since taking office as governor, Abbott signed on to a multi-state letter demanding the EPA to “refrain from issuing new ozone standards that would stifle economic growth and job creation, and submitted comments challenging the EPA’s proposed ‘regional haze’ rule as unlawful and unconstitutional.”