War of Words Continues Over Texas Clean Air Rules
by: Wendy Siegle, May 27, 2010 8:05:00 pm
Perry calls the EPA an "activist" agency after it threatened to strip Texas of the right to issue permits for oil and gas refineries. The EPA has countered that Texas is allowing plants to violate the federal Clean Air Act. The agency has already said it will take over the permitting process for a Corpus Christi plant and now says its hiring people to help take over the entire permitting program in Texas. Perry says EPA is ignoring state's rights.
"EPA is on the verge of killing thousands of Texas jobs and derailing a program that has cleaned the Texas air."
The Texas clean air program uses a flexible permit that sets a plant-wide limit for all refinery emissions. The EPA's program sets limits on each individual unit within a plant. Perry says the state thought it was doing the right thing.
"The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality thought we were making good headway and working in good faith with them and we were a bit taken aback that they took this action."
Perry says the EPA's hard-line approach could cost Texas thousands of jobs and other economic hardship. The EPA says that Texas has ignored clean air standards for too long.