Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced the state has filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after it rejected Texas’ 7-year-old proposed revision to its State Implementation Plan (SIP) for reducing regional haze. In January, the EPA rejected the state’s plan in favor of a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) that would force electricity producers to enact expensive changes, and could cause the Texas grid to become less reliable.
“Texas already has a plan that meets the standards of the Clean Air Act, however, once again, the Obama Administration is misinterpreting and misusing federal agencies to force through a radical agenda based more on the beliefs of his environmentalist base than on common sense,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The steps Washington is demanding we take are extraordinarily expensive, will result in a less-reliable electric grid and ultimately have no significant effect on visibility in Texas.”
The Regional Haze rule regards the public’s ability to clearly see sights at U.S. National Parks, including Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks. Under the FIP, power generators would have to install costly, unnecessary upgrades to become compliant. This could both make electricity more expensive, and could result in fewer plants at a time when Texas needs more capacity, not less.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Fifth Circuit.
Earlier this month, Texas – along with West Virginia and 27 other states and state agencies – won a major victory against the EPA in a different case when the U.S. Supreme Court put an immediate halt to the Obama Administration’s unlawful power plan while litigation continues in the D.C. Circuit Court. The D.C. Circuit Court will hear oral arguments on the merits of that case on June 2.
To view the Petition for Review filed with the Fifth Circuit, please visit: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/epress/Petition_for_Review__Reg_Haze.pdf.