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That other big lawsuit

In case you missed it, there was another big ruling last week that will have a profound effect on Texas.

Ship Channel crica 1973

A federal appeals court Tuesday upheld a finding by the Environmental Protection Agency that greenhouse gases pose a public health threat and require potentially costly limits from vehicles, power plants and other industrial sources.

In an unanimous decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the federal agency is “unambiguously correct” in its use of the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide and other gases linked to global warming as pollutants – a stinging rebuke to industry and 14 states, led by Texas, that had sued to block the landmark rules.

Such rules could have a profound impact on Texas, which emits more carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases than any other state.

“This is a pretty resounding victory from EPA’s perspective,” said Tracy Hester, who leads the energy, environment and natural resources program at the University of Houston Law Center. “The sweep and breadth of this decision will make it hard for the states to pick it back up.”

As was the case with the Affordable Care Act, the Republicans in Texas bet big on winning in court, and as was the case with the Affordable Care Act they lost. In this case they still have hope for something more favorable from SCOTUS, but not this term, and they’ll be up against a unanimous appellate ruling. If the state had done a better job taking care of business this might not be such a big deal, but we all know how that has gone. The Environmental Defense Fund has more.

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2 Comments

  1. Robert Nagle says:

    I remember reading the petitions that the Texas AG filed about this, and I was struck by how embarrassingly incompetent they were. I could not comment on the legal part (IANAL), but the scientific claims sounded like it was from a Red Meat partisan speech to the Texas Young Republicans party. They were referring to documents which were repudiated. It is one of those shocking moments when you realize that as a layman you understood the science better than the hacks who drafted the petitions did. Which is strange, because Texas has quite a number of very distinguished climate scientists.

  2. […] opinion on matters pertaining to the EPA had been running against the state recently, so I’m sure they’re celebrating in the AG’s office. It’s not a […]