Court Denies Texas Request to Halt Greenhouse Gas Permitting

A federal court has denied Texas' request to halt a federal takeover of greenhouse gas regulations in the state.

Texas — which has refused to implement federal greenhouse gas rules that came into effect on Jan. 2 — had asked for a stay of Environmental Protection Agency plans to directly issue greenhouse gas permits to affected companies in the state.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit's single-page decision was the third recent denial of stay to Texas on this matter, according to the Environmental Defense Fund, which applauded the move. (The court also dissolved an administrative stay that it had granted previously to allow more time for study.)

Texas still has other lawsuits pending that more broadly challenge the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases.

The Texas Attorney General's office issued this statement in response to the ruling:

"The EPA has overstepped its legal boundaries and exceeded its authority. While the court declined to proactively prohibit the EPA from continuing its federalization effort, today's ruling did not reach the heart of the State's claim and does not affect Texas' ability to continue pursuing its legal challenge against the agency. With the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of Texas families and businesses at risk, Texas will continue to challenge the EPA's unlawful overreach."

The EPA welcomed the ruling, saying in a statement: "This ensures that our efforts to enact modest, common-sense steps to address carbon pollution under the Clean Air Act ... will proceed in the state of Texas just as they are proceeding across the nation. We look forward to working with Texas officials to ensure that their industrial facilities can seek permits to expand and grow while protecting the health of all Texans."

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