Gov. Rick Perry today was joined by local government and business leaders to decry Washington's latest attempt to extend federal control over the state's authority, an action that would undermine Texas' successful clean air programs and cost the state thousands of jobs. Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its efforts to take over Texas' federally delegated, successful Title V permitting program and replace it with a less effective Washington-based, bureaucratic led, command and control mandate.
"Last week, the federal government sent the very clear message that it seeks to destroy Texas's successful clean air program and threaten tens of thousands of good Texas jobs in the process. The EPA seems to believe that federal controls and bureaucracy are more important than clean air results." Gov. Perry said. "Texas' common-sense approach to air quality permitting works because it avoids the damage caused by Washington's command and control approach, while cleaning the air, helping create jobs and growing our state economy."
In response to the EPA's announcement last week, Gov. Perry sent a letter urging President Barack Obama to stop the agency's excessive overreach into Texas' permitting process, which would kill thousands of Texas jobs and derail a program that has effectively cleaned Texas' air.
"I am eager to get back to the drawing board and have constructive, law and science based discussions with EPA, discussions that should have been finished 16 years ago" Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Executive Director Mark Vickery said.
The air Texans breathe today is significantly cleaner than it was in 2000. As Texas added much of the nation's job, population and economic growth, the Texas clean air program achieved a 22 percent reduction in ozone and a 46 percent decrease in NOx emissions, compared to an eight percent reduction in national ozone levels and a 27 percent reduction in national NOX levels between 2000 and 2008. Additionally, no county in Texas is in nonattainment for fine particulate matter, one of the pollutants with the greatest impact on human health.
"The Houston Port Region's petrochemical industry employs more than 30,000 direct jobs and an additional 300,000 in indirect jobs, Chad Burke, president/CEO of the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region said. "If we allow the EPA to chase the 30,000 jobs away, the 300,000 jobs will follow."
Texas is a national leader in reducing emissions and known pollutants and advancing renewable energy sources, all while remaining a leader in the nation's energy production. We have successfully balanced the need for environmental improvements with fostering economic growth, new investment and job creation. Texas continues to advance new, clean energy technology by using market incentives and stable regulation, not costly mandates and taxes.