I suppose this was inevitable.
Texas filed a federal court challenge Monday to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to reject part of the state’s air-quality program.
State Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office — in a statement accompanying the announcement of the petition being filed with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals in New Orleans — said the law allowing the state rule was passed in 1995, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality submitted revised qualified facilities rules to the federal agency in 1996.
Al Armendariz, the EPA’s regional administrator, has said the state isn’t following Clean Air Act requirements and it’s his obligation to ensure the federal law is followed.
EPA spokesman Joe Hubbard today said his response would stand from last week, when two industry groups filed a similar challenge: “We believe our efforts to give Texans the same clean-air protection as other states is well-defined, and we expect the court will rule in our favor.”
For a political party that’s forever yammering about frivolous lawsuits, these guys sure are a litigious bunch. We’ll see what the courts have to say, and we’ll see how much this little exercise in protecting the profits of polluters will ultimately cost.