Texas AG sues over EPA's greenhouse finding

Chris Rizo Feb. 18, 2010, 6:40am


AUSTIN(Legal Newsline)-The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency relied on flawed data to issue its endangerment finding that greenhouse gases pose a public health risk, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said Feb. 17.

In a lawsuit against the federal government, the Republican attorney general said that the Lone Star State's economy could be harmed as the result of the EPA's finding, issued in December.

"With billions of dollars at stake, EPA outsourced the scientific basis for its greenhouse gas regulation to a scandal-plagued international organization that cannot be considered objective or trustworthy," Abbott said. "Prominent climate scientists associated with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were engaged in an ongoing, orchestrated effort to violate freedom of information laws, exclude scientific research, and manipulate temperature data."

Abbott's lawsuit seeks to set aside the EPA endangerment finding, which could lead to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions restrictions from large sources, including coal-fired power plants and refineries.

The EPA's endangerment finding allows the agency to set rules limiting six greenhouse gasses: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride.

The move followed a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found greenhouse gases are considered air pollutants under federal environmental laws.

In addition to Abbott's petition for reconsideration filed with the EPA, he also filed a 38-page petition for review with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

"This legal action is being taken to protect the Texas economy and the jobs that go with it, as well as defend Texas' freedom to continue our successful environmental strategies free from federal overreach," Abbott said.

Abbott, who is seeking reelection, was hammered by his Democratic opponent, Barbara Ann Radnofsky, over the filings, saying the attorney general's actions were motivated by politics.

"If the attorney general cares for the people of Texas, he'd fight for fair pricing of natural gas, which would benefit property tax payors and royalty holders, like the state of Texas and its income beneficiaries: the students of Texas," she said.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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U.S. Supreme Court
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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
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