Pollution in Midlothian, TX. Picture courtesy of Environmental News Service.
In a move that cuts through a lot of continuing rhetoric, a.k.a. Hot Dirty Air, the EPA today has announced it will take over the function that the state of Texas has abrogated, of protecting citizens from pollution. The government in TX has increasingly fought against national air quality standards, and refused to put them into effect, thus polluting not only its own air but that of surrounding areas.
That the TX standards continue to harm its citizens is not safe for the country, and it has proved necessary for the federal government to provide services that Austin’s recidivist element will not.
The Environmental Protection Agency will announce today that it will seize authority from Texas for awarding clean-air permits because the state has refused to implement federal greenhouse-gas regulations.
The announcement was expected for months, as Texas officials, led by Gov. Rick Perry, sued the EPA over the greenhouse rule and its legal basis for regulating such emissions. Even so, the notion of federal officials deciding how some 167 industrial facilities in Texas must comply with the rule is sure to spark new recriminations between Austin and Washington.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied a request by Texas and other litigants to halt the greenhouse-gas rules. The court ruled that Texas and the other plaintiffs didn’t prove that significant economic harm would result from the regulation.
The insistence of right wing officials, who continually violate standards that protect U.S. citizens, that air in their state will be polluted so that businesses can profit at public expense cannot be tolerated in contravention of national law.
It would be nice if we could be confident that state authorities in TX would agree that its citizens deserve the government to serve them instead of profit oriented corporate welfare. Nice, but hardly likely, given the continuing defiance of those officials of the Rule of Law.