A state district judge today blocked Gov. Rick Perry's executive order creating a fast-track permitting process for coal-fired electric generating plants, a ruling that also could impact the debate over Perry's order requiring cervical cancer vaccinations for pre-teen girls.
State District Judge Stephen Yelenosky ruled that four environmental groups "are likely to prevail on their argument that the governor lacks the authority" to issue an executive order telling a state agency to hold hearings and reach a decision by a specific deadline.
Yelenosky ordered the State Office of Administrative Hearings to ignore Perry's demand that hearings on new power plants be limited to six months.
He did not specifically halt a hearing scheduled for today on TXU Corp.'s request for permits for six coal-fired plants, but he told the state's administrative law judge to reconsider requests for a delay from environmental groups.