“A lot’s been said in the last few days about the EPA’s continuing effort to take over Texas’ regulatory system”, Governor Perry said. “For reasons of their own Washington insists that new layers of bureaucracy, layers that add cost but don’t do a thing to improve air quality are reasons enough to destroy our successful flexible permitting program, as they continue to take more and more control over state matters”.
Last week the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the so called Cross-State Air Pollution Rule that will require Texas and 22 other states to limit sulfur dioxide (SO2), and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emitted from coal plants.
“Texas power plants collectively are the nation’s largest emitter of NOx and the second largest emitter of SO2”; not to mention Texas’ number one ranking in benzene, mercury and carbon pollution” said Elena Craft, Health Scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund. Ms. Craft also said it was time for Texas officials to work with EPA to clean Texas’ air and protect the health of Texas families.
But that is something Governor Perry says Texas already does. According to the Governor ozone levels in Texas decreased 27 percent from 2000 to 2009, and the state’s NOx emissions are down nearly 58 percent.
“The 82nd Legislature passed several bills that will help Texas continue to lead the nation in energy production and expand our use of alternative sources of power, an area in which we’re already a national leader”, the Governor said giving a couple of illustrations.
A bill co-authored by Sen. Nelson provides, for example, for additional air monitoring stations around the Barnett Shale region, and a bill by Rep. Jim Keffer will create a clean transportation triangle between Houston, Dallas and San Antonio by adding infrastructure that supports natural gas vehicles.