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Texas thumbs its nose at the feds again

Why bother to secede when all you need to do is disobey?

Texas has refused to meet new federal greenhouse gas emission rules that go into effect in January, the latest anti-Washington move in an ongoing battle that could halt new construction at the nation’s largest refineries and other industry in Texas.

The refusal to join 49 other states in agreeing to the new rules is the latest salvo from Texas in its fight with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which Gov. Rick Perry has used on the campaign trail as an example of meddling by the federal government.

“Texas has neither the authority nor the intention of interpreting, ignoring or amending its laws in order to compel the permitting of greenhouse gas emissions,” said a letter to the EPA from the Texas Commission on Environment Quality and state Attorney General Greg Abbott.

The new greenhouse gas rules go into effect Jan. 2, 2011. They require the nation’s largest industries to meet more stringent greenhouse gas emissions standards in new or significantly modified structures, rules that came on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2007 that greenhouse gases are pollutants that can be regulated under the Clean Air Act and a 2009 EPA finding that the gases can pose a danger to human health.

“States who don’t have greenhouse gas permit programs in place by Jan. 2 — either administered by themselves or EPA — are unnecessarily subjecting their energy industry and manufacturing base to a construction ban in the state,” said Bill Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Act Agencies. “The sad news is that this totally avoidable.”

And yet in a sense it’s completely unavoidable, too. Gotta figure there’s more where this came from as well.

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