Texas Presents New Challenge to EPA Warming Regs

Published October 4, 2010

The State of Texas has added new arguments to its lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, claiming EPA does not have the power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions because the agency relied on faulty science when it ruled greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare. 

Regulatory Authority Lacking
The new arguments, filed September 16, supplement arguments submitted in February when Texas and other states challenged EPA’s endangerment finding. The endangerment finding, if upheld, would give EPA the authority to regulate greenhouse gases.

Texas observes EPA’s scientific assessments largely deferred to United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. IPCC, however, has been hit by many recent scandals, and many of its scientific assessments have been found to rely on faulty or insufficient evidence. Moreover, IPCC lead authors that have final say on the substance of IPCC reports have little objectivity and include staffers from environmental activist groups such as Greenpeace and Environmental Defense.

“By delegating its judgment on climate science to the [U.N. group] and others, EPA exposed its conclusions to the errors and biases of unaccountable volunteer scientists, and undermined the validity of the endangerment finding,” Texas argued in its newly filed brief.

State Vows to Fight
Texas filed its new arguments after state Attorney General Greg Abbott and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Chairman Bryan W. Shaw sent EPA an August 2 letter challenging EPA’s procedures and findings.

“In order to deter challenges to your plan for centralized control of industrial development through the issuance of permits for greenhouse gases, you have called upon each state to declare its allegiance to the Environmental Protection Agency’s recently enacted greenhouse gas regulations—regulations that are plainly contrary to U.S. laws,” stated the letter.

“To encourage acquiescence with your unsupported findings you threaten to usurp state enforcement authority and to federalize the permitting program of any state that fails to pledge their fealty to the Environmental Protection Agency,” the letter added. “On behalf of the State of Texas, we write to inform you that Texas has neither the authority nor the intention of interpreting, ignoring or amending its laws in order to compel the permitting of greenhouse gas emissions.”

Kenneth Artz ([email protected]) writes from Dallas, Texas.