Texas Congressional Delegation Blasts EPA on Flexible Permitting Issue
by: Ed Mayberry, April 29, 2011 8:04:00 pm
Sugar Land Congressman Pete Olson says Texas has had a successful flexible air quality permitting process with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
"In the last ten years, under flexible permitting, our state has reduced our ozone emissions 22 percent. The national average was 15 percent. And we did this while being the fastest-growing economy in the nation."
Congressman Kevin Brady from The Woodlands echoes that Texas is simultaneously improving its environment and its economy.
Congressmen Kevin Brady, Joe Barton and Ted Poe (with Pete Olson, not pictured) visit TCEQ officials near the Battleship Texas at the Houston Ship Channel on Friday morning to learn more about how air quality is monitored.
"We're convinced we can clean our air and clean our environment and grow the economy at the same time. Washington doesn't see it that way. The EPA's intrusion and takover of our permitting process threatens that delicate balance between environmental progress and economic progress."
The EPA refuses to consider the impact of rules on workers and their families, according to Houston Congressman Ted Poe.
"It's not about the environment. It's about power. Texas does a good job of air quality. As everyone has state, our air quality is getting better by leaps and bounds over other areas."
Congressman Joe Barton of Dallas says this is about state versus federal control.
"We're not trying to change federal law. We're not trying to raise the standard. We are saying that if we have a way that works with flexible permitting, the EPA should recognize that. And they did for 19 years."
The four Republicans say the EPA repeatedly usurps state authority and pushes policies that will hurt an already weak economy — without improving air quality.