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Posts Tagged ‘Andrea Morrow’

FIRST FORT SUMTER SHOTS ARE FIRED: EPA SEIZES TEXAS AIR PERMITTING

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Nuclear Townhall
Nuclear Townhall
December 24, 2010

The first shot in the War between the Red and Blue States has been fired. Yesterday the Environmental Protection Administration announced it will seize permitting power for new projects from Texas authorities in order to enforce its new standards regulating carbon dioxide emissions and prevent global warming.
 
Texas, which has a booming economy and just gained four new seats in the House of Representatives with the new U.S. Census, is not in a mood to comply. "The EPA’s misguided plan paints a huge target on the backs of Texas agriculture and energy producers by implementing unnecessary, burdensome mandates on our state’s energy sector, threatening hundreds of thousands of Texas jobs and imposing increased living costs on Texas families," Katherine Cesinger, a spokeswoman for Governor Rick Perry, told the Dallas Morning News.

The North Korea-South Korea standoff may seem tame in a couple of weeks when compared to the face-off taking shape between Washington and Texas over regulation of carbon dioxide. With nearly 170 construction projects shovel-ready for the New Year, the Lone Star State is now being told to hold the phone – nothing can proceed because of the Environmental Protection Administration’s new campaign to limit carbon emissions.

“This is an arrogant act by an overreaching E.P.A. that is trying to implement new, unnecessary controls on American industry,” Andrea Morrow, a spokeswoman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality tells The New York Times. But the EPA is equally adamant. “The unwillingness of Texas state officials to implement this portion of the federal program leaves E.P.A. no choice but to resume its role as the permitting authority,” said Gina McCarthy, the E.P.A. assistant administrator for air issues.

Here’s the sequence of events that have led to the confrontation. In the absence of any climate bill from Congress, the Obama Administration proceeding with its Plan B effectively turning carbon regulations over to the EPA. The usual procedure is for the EPA to ask the states to draw up their own “implementation plans.”  The Administration set January 2 as the deadline but Texas claims that it is supposed to have a year to comply.

Sensing insubordination, the EPA has said it will step in and take over the permitting process after the first of the year. Several other states have challenged the EPA’s authority and the basis of climate science in court but none are standing up to the EPA in the manner of Texas. The spectacle of EPA troops marching into Texas could become the Fort Sumter of the pending battle between the blue and red states. Texas has by far the nation’s strongest economy. The state is running billion-dollar surpluses and has $7.6 billion in a rainy-day fund.

The state had the largest gain in population in the recently released U.S. Census figures and will add two new members to the House of Representatives this decade.

The contrast between Texas prosperity and the doldrums in the rest of the country is likely to throw heavy-handed federal regulation into stark contrast.   The showdown moves to its second act on January 2nd.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News