Environmental Protection

Texas Files Review Petitions on GHG Endangerment Finding

Texas is looking for incentives and innovation, not mandates and overreaching regulation, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said, as he explained on Feb. 16 that the state is challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's endangerment finding for greenhouse gases in the U.S. Court of Appeals.

"The EPA's misguided plan paints a big target on the backs of Texas agriculture and energy producers and the hundreds of thousands of Texans they employ," Perry said. "This legal action is being taken to protect the Texas economy and the jobs that go with it, as well as defend Texas' freedom to continue our successful environmental strategies free from federal overreach."

The state has filed a Petition for Review with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and will also file a Petition for Reconsideration with EPA, asking Administrator Lisa P. Jackson to review her decision. According to the press release, the endangerment finding is legally unsupported because the agency outsourced its scientific assessment to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has been discredited.

To hear Perry's comments, visit his Web site.

In addition, the governor's office release stated that Texas has reduced nitrogen oxide emissions by 46 percent, cut ozone levels by 22 percent and reduced carbon dioxide emissions more than nearly every other state, all without government mandates or extravagant fines.

Texas' agriculture industry, which accounts for $106 billion – or approximately 9.5 percent of Texas' total gross state product – would be disproportionately damaged by the proposed regulations. Fully 80 percent of the land in Texas is used in some form of agricultural production. Additionally, 97 percent of Texas' agricultural operations are run by individuals or families, and one out of seven working Texans is employed in some form of agriculture.

In response to the news of the legal action, the Texas League of Conservation Voters said it was "irresponsible and a waste of taxpayer money."

"Instead of focusing on cutting pollution and creating new jobs in wind and solar, the governor has embarked on an expensive publicity stunt. It's impossible to believe the governor's so-called enthusiasm for recruiting green jobs to Texas when he's fighting tooth and nail to protect old, dirty industries like coal" said David Weinberg, executive director of the Texas League of Conservation Voters. "With each day, Governor Perry is more and more alone in denying the dangers of carbon pollution that governors around the country have already accepted. It used to be a punch line about Texas politics, but now it is costing Texas tax dollars and Texas jobs," Weinberg added.

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