Federal Court Shoots Down Texas, Wyoming Appeal to Shrug Off EPA Emissions Regulations

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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A federal appeals court rejected a challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas regulations from the states of Texas and Wyoming on Friday.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the states had no grounds to sue and rejected related claims from industry groups.

Texas and Wyoming sued the EPA in 2011 arguing that they were not given enough time to comply with the Clean Air Act, which requires states issue permits for the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the New York Times. The EPA took control from states unwilling or unable to comply with emissions permits and began issuing their own permits to power plants, large factories and other industrial plants.

This is not the only EPA action with which Texas and Wyoming have taken issue.

The EPA recently abandoned an investigation into hydraulic fracturing in Texas, Wyoming and Pennsylvania. Their initial report on a Wyoming natural gas field showed that fracking had contaminated an aquifer deep in the earth.

On Wednesday, House Republicans told a subcommittee hearing that the EPA investigation damaged public perception of fracking and thus injured the domestic oil and gas industry.

"Given EPA's rush to judgment in Wyoming, Texas and Pennsylvania, we should question whether the agency's ongoing study is a genuine, fact-finding, scientific exercise, or a witch-hunt to find a pretext to regulate," said Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah.


Sources: Reuters, Platts.comNew York Times