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Feb 162010
 

From Green Right Now Reports

Call it the Texas two-step.

Just after Texas Governor Rick Perry filed a lawsuit against the EPA on Tuesday, questioning the federal agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases, Texas environmental groups parried back.

Texas’ Public Citizen and the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club announced they were issuing Perry a citizen 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.”

The groups explained in a joint news release from Tom “Smitty” Smith, director of Public Citizen’s Texas Office, and Ken Kramer, director of the Lone Star Sierra Chapter:

“This morning, Gov. Rick Perry attempted to show Texas voters that he is bigger than both Texas and federal law by filing a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) finding that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases endanger public health. Instead, he 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. Perry likes to brag about his accomplishments in promoting wind and energy efficiency and the emissions Texas has avoided as a result, but he is also 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.”

The statement argued that Texas law requires the regulation of air pollution, defined as “air contaminants” in Texas state code.

These contaminants, according to Texas’ Health and Safety Code, include “radioactive material, dust, fumes, gas, mist, smoke, vapor, or odor, including any combination of those items, produced by processes other than natural.”

“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,” the two environmental leaders said.

For more on the petition filed by Texas against the EPA see Texas challenges EPA’s designation of greenhouse gases as harmful.