Twenty years from now, when children ask their parents why the air they breathe is smoggy and why they are forced to use dozens of asthma inhalers daily, their response shouldn’t be “‘Cause Texans wouldn’t let the federal government intrude on its state rights.”
Putting the political well being of the elite above the serious environmental issues at hand for a large state is just plain wrong, yet that’s what Governor Perry and his cronies at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) continue to do. The Environmental Protection Agency has consistently demanded that Texas change its flexible permitting process which allows plants to get by with polluting more than a plant regulated under a traditional permitting process would. TCEQ insists that their flexible permitting process is in line with the rules, including the federal Clean Air Act, though significant scientific evidence exists to the contrary.
In fact, the state’s attorney general, Greg Abbott, on behalf of the state, has gone so far as to bring a lawsuit against the EPA, charging the federal agency with overstepping boundaries and essentially, ‘picking on’ Governor Perry’s beloved Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The time has long passed for us to question why TCEQ refuses to follow the rules. It is time to make them play fair. It is time to insist that the pollutants that bellow from these plants be regulated. It is time to insist that our children’s lungs and our streams and lakes are no longer unfairly damaged by environmental hazards simply because Texas wants to play politics.
Citizens of Texas must stand up for themselves and see this flexible permitting process as what it really is: a dangerous, environmentally damaging loophole.
This article was written in response to: http://www.texastribune.org/texas-environmental-news/environmental-problems-and-policies/texas-v-epa-permitting-battle-intensifies/
Guest blog post from the extraordinary Brittany Dawn McAllister!