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Posts Tagged ‘Environmental Protection Agency’

Local control still under assault

Sucks to be us, Harris County. With Harris County in its crosshairs, the Senate on Wednesday tentatively approved legislation that could make it tougher for Texas Counties to sue big-time polluters. If finally passed, House Bill 1794 would notch another victory for a wide range of business groups in a legislative session that’s been kind […]

Texas plans to sue over EPA’s latest clean air plan

So what else is new? Attorney General Ken Paxton said Tuesday that he plans to sue the Obama administration over the proposed “Clean Power Plan,” its plan to combat climate change by slashing carbon emissions from power plants. “Texas has proven we can improve air quality without damaging our economy or Texans’ pocketbooks,” the Republican […]

Once again to SCOTUS for Texas and the EPA

Plus ca change, and all that. Texas again went head-to-head with the Environmental Protection Agency before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, this time challenging federal limits on the emission of pollutants like mercury, acid gases and other toxic metals from power plants. Joined by 20 other states, Texas is arguing that the EPA didn’t […]

Yes, we can cut back on coal

It won’t be that hard, and it will come with a lot of benefits. Texas burns more coal than any other state in part because of its large and growing population and industrial base. But the carbon-intensive fuel accounted for less than 40 percent of the state’s power use last year. The federal proposal calls […]

ERCOT acknowledges that meeting EPA clean air requirements won’t be that big a deal

From Texas Clean Air Matters: Well, it didn’t take long before the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) released, at the request of Texas’ very political Public Utilities Commission, another report about the impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) rules designed to protect public health. This time ERCOT, which manages 90 percent of Texas’ […]

Here come the new ozone standards

I have three things to say about this. Over the objections of Texas officials, the Obama administration on Wednesday proposed a long-delayed rule to slash levels of ozone – a smog-forming pollutant known to worsen asthma, lung disease and heart conditions. The regulation is the latest example of the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s use of […]

EPA climate change plan would save water

Well, what do you know? As state regulators fret about how President Obama’s effort to combat climate change would affect the Texas power grid, a new study says the rules would be simpler to adopt than those regulators suggest – and that it would save the state billions of gallons of water annually. In an […]

It’s OK if energy costs go up for now

That’s my reaction to this. As Texas regulators weigh a response to President Obama’s proposal to combat climate change, the operator of the state’s main electric grid says the plan would raise energy costs and threaten reliability – particularly in the next few years. In an analysis released Monday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) […]

News flash: Greg Abbott wants to sue the EPA again

Nobody could have foreseen this! Foretelling a new environmental battle between state and federal regulators, Attorney General Greg Abbott on Monday demanded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency back down from a proposal to expand the definition of federal waters to include seasonal and rain-dependent waterways. The proposal “is without adequate scientific and economic justification and, […]

From the “Those that disregard history are doomed to repeat it” department

This is the state of environment protection in Texas. Texas’ top environmental regulator suggested Thursday that the state may ignore a proposed directive from the Obama administration in June to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. “I’m concerned that if this is not contested, if we don’t dispute this, if we don’t win, the implications […]

What do the Mayors want?

Action on climate change. The U.S. Conference of Mayors, a bipartisan group that represents the leaders of 1,400 cities, each of which is home to at least 30,000 people, has called on the Obama administration and Congress to “enact an Emergency Climate Protection law that provides a framework and funding for the implementation … of […]

Another win for the EPA at the Supreme Court

And thus another loss for Greg Abbott and Rick Perry. The Supreme Court on Monday mostly validated the Environmental Protection Agency’s plans to regulate power plant and factory emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming while imposing some limits on the agency’s reach. The justices said the EPA could not rewrite specific standards written […]

Texas will do just fine under the new EPA clean air regulations

Unless it wants to fail, of course, which is always an option under the likes of Rick Perry and Greg Abbott. Texas could lead the way into a less carbon-intensive future under the Obama administration’s plans to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. Or the state could have trouble keeping the lights […]

SCOTUS upholds CSAPR

Some very good news for people who like to breathe. The question was who should pay for air pollution that crosses state lines. The answer, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, is blowing in the wind. States in the Midwest and South whose polluted air flows north and east must comply with a federally imposed solution, […]

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 […]