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TX-Gov: Rick Perry Defends His Dirty Texas With Frivolous Legal Action
February 16, 2010

Key Point: Perry simply wants to nationalize his election with lofty rhetoric that are short on facts so that everyone can ignore the decade of failure he has pushed down Texas. The question is: Will Texas voters (and the Texas press corps) let him get away with it?

Written by Phillip Martin, Burnt Orange Report


Key Point: Perry simply wants to nationalize his election with lofty rhetoric that are short on facts so that everyone can ignore the decade of failure he has pushed down Texas. The question is: Will Texas voters (and the Texas press corps) let him get away with it?

  • As of two years ago, Texas was the top carbon polluter in the country. (SourceUSA Today
  • Bush's EPA, in 2008, denied one of Perry's waiver requests. This is not just an Obama issue. (Source:EPA)
  • The Environmental Protection Agency has shown good faith working with Texas on addressing the problem -- going so far as to delay, by six months, a study on the state air permitting rules.
  • Perry denies global warming exists, and the presiding officer of of TCEQ he appointed denies it exists as well. (See below)

Texas Governor Rick Perry is having the State of Texas bring legal action against the Environmental Protection Agency:

The state has filed a Petition for Review with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and will also file a Petition for Reconsideration with the Environmental Protection Agency, asking the administrator to review her decision. The state’s legal action indicates EPA’s Endangerment Finding is legally unsupported because the agency outsourced its scientific assessment to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has been discredited by evidence of key scientists’ lack of objectivity, coordinated efforts to hide flaws in their research, attempts to keep contravening evidence out of IPCC reports and violation of freedom of information laws.

First of all -- I agree with Rick Perry that the International Panel on Climate Change would not be a good resource. That's because there is no such thing as an International Panel on Climate Change. It's the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.


No real surprise from Perry here. He has steadfastly rejected the science of global warming. From a story by Gardner Selby of the Austin American-Statesman, "Perry's strong views on climate change can be muted at home":

Perry was unavailable for an interview on the subject, but his policy analyst, Zak Covar, summed up the governor's stance:

"He's not sitting back waiting to see what other states do [on global warming]; he's not convinced that it's an issue," Covar said.


Perry has made sure that global warming deniers are at the top positions in state government. On August 25, 2009, he appointed Bryan Shaw -- from Texas A&M University -- to serve as the presiding officer at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Shaw, as Senator Kirk Watson found out during testimony from the Senate Committee on Nominations, also denies global warming (a major, major h/t to TxSharon for her excellent post about this at Bluedaze):


Senator Watson asked Shaw if greenhouse gasses emitted by human activity contribute to climate change.

Shaw responded that he does not believe the science is conclusive regarding human contributions to global warming.  Shaw confirmed that he does not consider the science on that issue to be settled.  Shaw mentioned that there is a consensus of scientists that still express skepticism about the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Senator Watson noted that all of the tenured and tenure-tracked faculty in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University have signed on in support of the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.


Back to the case at hand...

Ultimately, Perry is folding legal action against the EPA into a federal, 10th Amendment issue. The Supreme Court case that correlates with this legal action the closest is the Massachusetts vs. Environmental Protection Agency case from 2007. I'm not a lawyer, so I'm not going to get into a legal argument -- but there's a lot in there to unpack for anyone interested in the big picture legal battle Team Rick Perry is gunning up for.

What Perry should remember, though, is that this isn't "Obama's EPA." In 2008, President Bush's EPA denied a waiver request from Rick Perry who, at the time, wanted the state of Texas to only comply with 50% of the RFS standards set forth by the EPA. The EPA laughed his waiver request out of the building -- going so far as to say this:


In this decision EPA is also setting forth the Agency's general expectations for future waiver requests, including the types of information and analysis that should accompany a waiver request.


Really, Rick Perry may be the least competent person to talk about the affect of energy and the environment on the Texas economy. Perry's attempts to lash out against global warming are more politics as usual from a failed Governor who doesn't want to offer any solutions to help improve our air quality. Cleaner air creates a healthy living environment for Texas families, and a healthy business climate for companies who want to move to Texas. Rick Perry wants to shout from the rooftops to run against President Barack Obama. But Obama is not on the ticket this year in Texas -- Bill White will be. And Bill White has an excellent record of protecting air quality while improving our economy.

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