Hey EPA: Don't Mess with Texas

Here’s some advice for the Environmental Protection Agency: Don’t mess with Texas.

Furthermore, don’t mess with our nation’s most affordable and reliable forms of energy, either.

After declaring greenhouse gases hazardous earlier this year, the EPA plans to use the Clean Air Act to begin regulating greenhouse gas emissions from emitters of all sizes beginning January 2011. The EPA’s plan has been widely criticized for being too burdensome and expensive, so the EPA attempted to downsize the plan with a “Tailoring Rule,” targeting only the largest emitters.

In August, Texas filed a lawsuit against the EPA, declaring the proposed “Tailoring Rule” illegal. The state rightly claims the EPA’s plan is unlawful because the Clean Air Act does not address greenhouse gases, even after its last revision by Congress in 1990.

Texas is not alone, as a number of states from Alabama to South Dakota have opposed the EPA’s plan, along with groups like the Ohio Coal Association and the National Alliance of Forest Owners.

It’s alarming enough that the EPA plans to regulate emitters like power plants and factories, which are necessary components of energy production and provide needed jobs. However, it’s even more alarming that the EPA would regulate at least one clean, reliable form of energy — woody biomass, which will not be exempt by the Tailoring Rule.