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Posts Tagged ‘Environmental Protection Agency’

Court rules for the EPA against Texas again

Another win for the environment. A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the Obama administration’s new rules that for the first time limit emissions of mercury and other harmful pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants. In a split decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a Texas-based challenge […]

Texas stands with polluters against the EPA one more time

Here we go. The Obama administration’s climate change agenda on Monday faced one of its first real tests in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, where Texas and a group of industry leaders challenged an Environmental Protection Agency regulation aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The question before the court is whether permits needed by […]

The cost of fighting the inevitable

Trib headline: Anti-Regulation Politics May Have Hurt Energy Industry. Oh, the irony. Businesses in energy-related industries in Texas say they have been unable to take full advantage of the natural gas boom that is roaring across the state because of a delay in the issuing of greenhouse gas permits — an instance in which Texas’ […]

EPA and TCEQ settle lawsuits over flex permits

One less court fight for us and the feds. The EPA and Texas on Wednesday said they have reached a deal over state permits for industrial air pollution, ending a four-year fight that to some had become a symbol of regulatory overreach by the federal government. The agreement comes after the federal agency initially rejected […]

SCOTUS will hear another EPA lawsuit appeal

Gird your loins. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Texas’ challenge of federal regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources like power plants and factories, the court announced Tuesday. But it declined to hear the state’s appeals of two other decisions, effectively upholding rules that limit such emissions from vehicles and maintaining […]

That pollution isn’t our fault!

You have to admire the creativity. Harris County’s problem with tiny, lung-damaging particles in the air can be blamed partly on African dust and crop-clearing fires in Mexico, the state’s environmental agency has told federal regulators. If the Environmental Protection Agency agrees with the state’s finding, then the county would avoid stringent pollution controls and […]

Texas loses another lawsuit against the EPA

Getting to be a habit. A federal appeals court on Friday rejected a legal challenge by Texas and Wyoming to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a 2-1 vote, said the states and various […]

From the “Wooing Latino Voters: You’re Doing It Wrong” department

Greg Abbott visits McAllen and gives the locals his best reason why they should vote for him. Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott called for unity between Republican candidates and Hispanics in McAllen on Monday, with the promise of being in South Texas much more. As evidence voters should elect him governor in 2014, Abbott cited the […]

SCOTUS to hear CSAPR appeal

I’m not terribly excited about anything the Supreme Court does these days, but we’ll see about this. The U.S. Supreme Court decided Monday to take a case that has pitted Texas against the Obama administration over a federal rule aimed at reducing air pollution that crosses state borders. The decision comes 10 months after a […]

Everybody sues the EPA

The state of Texas and our pollution-loving Attorney General do it because they think the EPA does too much to protect us from harm. Some other groups do it because they think the EPA isn’t doing enough. In the suit filed on Thursday, Air Alliance Houston and three other groups accuse the U.S. Environmental Protection […]

Texas versus EPA, round one zillion

The desire to coddle polluters is strong in this one. A Texas-led coalition of energy-producing states has asked the Supreme Court to hear a case involving the Obama administration’s efforts to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. The petition, which was filed last week, comes 10 months after a three-judge panel of […]

“An accident waiting to happen”

I don’t even know what to say. There were no sprinklers. No firewalls. No water deluge systems. Safety inspections were rare at the fertilizer company in West, Texas, that exploded and killed at least 14 people this week. This is not unusual. Small fertilizer plants nationwide fall under the purview of several government agencies, each […]

White Stallion coal plant deep sixed

I mentioned this in passing the other day, but the news that White Stallion has been shelved deserves its own post. Developers have dropped plans for the White Stallion Energy Center about 90 miles southwest of Houston, signaling the end of a once heady rush to build several new coal-fired power plants across Texas. White […]

We’ve got mercury, yes we do

Once again, Texas overachieves at something bad. Even though mercury and other hazardous air pollution from U.S. power plants are declining, the progress at the coal-fired power plants are uneven, leaving in place a significant remaining risk to the health of the public and environment, according to a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project […]

More on metal recycling

The Chron has a followup story on metal recycling and hexavalent chromium. Houston air experts plan to deepen their investigation into the air outside metal recycling companies after their measurements showed – apparently for the first time – that the businesses could be a source of potent fumes known to cause cancer. “We are searching […]

Recycling pollution

This is unfortunate. The calls to the city of Houston’s 311 help line came in the early morning and the middle of the night – complaints of red smoke, yellow smoke, explosions, fire, a child having trouble breathing. Reports like these – 189 of them over the last five years – led Houston air authorities […]

Soot

We have it. What are we going to do about it? Harris County, long known for smog, will need to clamp down on another harmful type of air pollution for the first time under new rules imposed by federal regulators Friday. The Environmental Protection Agency set a stricter standard for tiny particulate matter, or soot, […]

EDF report on school buses

From the Environmental Defense Fund: Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) [Monday] released a report titled “Review of Texas’ Clean School Bus Programs: How Far Have We Come and What Is Still Left to Do?” This report evaluates each of the clean school bus programs in Texas, reviews accomplishments, and offers suggestions for improvement. Diesel engines power […]

CSAPR knocked down by federal court

Score one for the polluters. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in a 2-1 decision that the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its authority with the new regulation. Led by Texas, 14 states and several power companies challenged the legality of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which imposes caps on […]

Count tells EPA to review flex permits

Score one for Texas. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency’s disapproval of Texas’ Flexible Permits program was not supported by the Clean Air Act. Under the Flexible Permits program, which had been in place since 1994, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality put a cap on allowed […]

Guess who likes the Obamacare ruling now?

The state of Texas, that’s who. But not for any positive reason, of course. The high court decision limited the power of Congress to force states to take certain actions by threatening to withhold federal money – in the Affordable Care Act case, existing Medicaid funds. Chief Justice John Roberts called the threat “a gun […]

That other big lawsuit

In case you missed it, there was another big ruling last week that will have a profound effect on Texas. A federal appeals court Tuesday upheld a finding by the Environmental Protection Agency that greenhouse gases pose a public health threat and require potentially costly limits from vehicles, power plants and other industrial sources. In […]

Fifth Circuit rules for EPA against Texas

It’s always a pleasure seeing our litigious Attorney General get slapped down by whatever court he’s bothering this week. In the latest turn in a saga pitting environmental regulators in Washington against those in Austin, a panel of federal judges on Friday sided with the federal Environmental Protection Agency in its effort to tamp down […]

Texas continues its fight against clean air

The state of Texas was back in court last week, arguing for its right to pollute other states’ air. The latest round in the state’s fight with the Environmental Protection Agency will be heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, often considered the nation’s most influential after the Supreme Court. […]

Matagorda smog

I feel like there are some pieces missing in this discussion. The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking to add Matagorda County to the list of Texas’ smog violators because Gulf breezes that blow through the area send air pollution toward the sprawling metropolis. Local leaders are pushing back, saying the dubious distinction would lead to […]

How gassy are we?

I’m talking about greenhouse gases, of course. And the answer is, now you can find out for yourself. The greenhouse gas wars are about to heat up again in Texas. Next month, a federal court hears oral arguments in lawsuits that Texas has filed to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency, which began regulating heat-trapping emissions […]

CSAPR stayed

There was some bad news at the end of the year. A federal court ordered [last] Friday that the Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial cross-state air pollution rule be stayed — to the delight of Texas officials and the chagrin of environmentalists. The rule, which sought to reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from power […]

County sues over dioxin

More like this, please. Harris County has filed a lawsuit in state court to recover hundreds of millions of dollars from local waste management companies and a Pasadena paper factory responsible for storage of a human carcinogen that has leaked into the San Jacinto River. Named as defendants in the action, which seeks penalties of […]

Luminant and the CSAPR

I have not followed the dustup between energy producer Luminant and the EPA very closely. What I know is that like most other disputes between those who want cleaner air here in Texas and those who don’t is that someone in the latter group is complaining about a new federal regulation that will force them […]

Giving tax breaks to those that don’t need them

You can add this to the list of things schools might have to pay for that they don’t have the money to pay for. Three environmental commissioners appointed by Gov. Rick Perry are considering whether to grant some of the nation’s largest refineries a tax refund of more than $135 million money Texas’ cash-strapped schools […]

We’re #9!

The ninth greenest metro area, at least in terms of “green” jobs, according to a Brookings study. Houston’s “clean” or “green” economy is ranked 9th among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program. “There is room for clean technology in a city with the […]

“Flex permit” plants agree to follow EPA guidelines

Somehow, the world continued to rotate on its axis afterward. The unique way Texas regulates air pollution from refineries, chemical plants and other major industries is no more — for now. The EPA said Tuesday all 136 industrial plants with state-issued permits that do not meet federal Clean Air Act requirements have agreed to apply […]

New clean air rule from EPA

A new rule from the EPA that seeks to limit pollution that originates in one state but affects others as well should have a big effect on Texas. The rule, which covers 27 states and the District of Columbia, will require aging plants to be upgraded with modern equipment to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide […]

Abbott takes his pro-pollution crusade to a new front

This is the sort of thing our Attorney General thinks is worth fighting for. Expanding on the push-and-pull between Washington and Texas on environmental regulation, the state’s attorney general has called federal regulations meant to cut greenhouse gases from auto tailpipe emissions unlawful. The federal government is pushing “hastily enacted, cascading regulations” on states and […]