Newspaper article The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
Byline: Peggy Venable, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The state's slogan is Don't mess with Texas. But the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is doing just that, and at stake is whether the Obama administration can impose its global-warming agenda without a vote of Congress.
President Obama's EPA is already well down the path to regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, something the act was not designed to do. It has a problem, however, because shoehorning greenhouse gases into that 40-year-old law would force churches, schools, warehouses, commercial kitchens and other sources to obtain costly and time-consuming permits. It would grind the economy to a halt, and the likely backlash would doom the whole scheme.
The EPA, determined to move forward anyway, is attempting to rewrite the Clean Air Act administratively via a tailoring rule, which would reduce the number of regulated sources. The problem with that approach? It's illegal. The EPA has no authority to rewrite the law. To pull it off, the EPA needs every state with a State Implementation Plan to rewrite all of its statutory thresholds as well.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Chairman Bryan W. Shaw saw the tailoring rule for what it really is: a massive power grab and centralization of authority. They are fighting back, writing to the EPA:
"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. .. 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 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."
Texas leaders are doing what Congress so far has been unable to do (a Senate vote to stop the EPA's global-warming power grab got just 47 votes on June 10): take on the EPA. Good thing, because Texas would be hit especially hard by these regulations. …