Ken Paxton

AG Paxton Leads 19-State Coalition Urging EPA to End Systematic Federal Overreach

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 – Austin

In a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, 16 other state attorneys general, and the governors of Kentucky and Mississippi  today called for an end to the federal overreach that characterized the EPA’s unlawful regulatory actions during the Obama-era.

“For the last eight years, politics, not law, drove the shape and character of this country’s environmental regulations,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The EPA now has the opportunity to correct that error under the leadership of Administrator Pruitt. We therefore invite the agency to turn away from its recent practices and bring its rulemaking back into compliance with the very statutes from which it derives its authority. The Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act expressly affirm that the states have the primary responsibility to care for the environment. It is about time the EPA respected that role.” 

One example of federal overreach cited in the letter is Texas’ plan for Regional Haze. That plan set reasonable regulations on such things as power generators in the state to ensure air quality was sufficiently high to allow good visibility. But the EPA rejected the plan and imposed federal guidelines that cost $2 billion – without achieving any visibility changes.

“From our perspective, the recent overreach by the Agency amounts to a striking departure from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts,” the state leaders wrote. “Respectfully, we ask that you consider the steps that the Agency may take to restore the principles of cooperative federalism embodied in these important statutes.”

The states who joined Texas in the letter are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming, along with Kentucky and Mississippi (through their governors).

To view a copy of the letter, click here.