Perry Flaunts State, Federal Law in EPA Lawsuit
Statement from Tom “Smitty” Smith, director of Public Citizen’s Texas Office and Ken Kramer, director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club
This morning Governor Perry attempted to show Texas voters that he is bigger than both Texas and federal law by enacting a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency’s(EPA) endangerment finding for carbon dioxide, but instead just further highlighted his failure to protect Texans’ health and the safety and long term stability of our economy and climate.
Instead of suing the EPA, Perry should be taking proactive steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build up our clean energy economy. Our governor likes to brag about all he’s done to promote wind and energy efficiency and the emissions Texas has avoided as a result, but at the same time he is hammering through a second Texas coal rush that will negate all that hard work and add 77 million tons of CO2 to Texas’ already overheated air.
Perry’s blustering behavior has actually caused Public Citizen to file a lawsuit against the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for its failure to regulate global warming gasses. Texas law clearly requires that “air contaminants” be regulated, and defines contaminants as follows:
“‘Air contaminant’ means particulate matter, radioactive material, dust, fumes, gas, mist, smoke, vapor, or odor, including any combination of those items, produced by processes other than natural.” Tex. Health & Safety Code § 382.003(2).
Perry has proudly demonstrated willful ignorance of this portion of Texas law time and time again, and has ordered state agencies such as the TCEQ to ignore it as well. For this reason and his actions today we are issuing our Governor a Citizens’ Citation to cease and desist endangering the health of breathers, the economy and the climate in Texas by continuing to permit coal plants and other large sources of CO2.
By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.