The PJ Tatler

Cornyn shut out of hearing on EPA regulations impacting Texas' economy

Consider this a follow-up to Patrick’s post on Republicans being shut out of a Democrat “Gun Forum”: Texas Sen. John Cornyn has been shut out of a Senate hearing on regulations that will impact his state. The hearing concerns the EPA’s new Cean Air Transport Rule, which adversely impacts 31 states including Texas, and threatens thousands of jobs in the state. Cornyn isn’t on the committee holding the hearing, which is chaired by CA Sen. Barbara Boxer, but neither are several Democrats who are apparently being allowed to participate.

The chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is scheduled to testify at tomorrow’s hearing. Republicans say Cornyn wants to ask questions of Bryan Shaw and the EPA witness, Asst. Administrator Gina McCarthy. But Cornyn has been told he’ll only be able to introduce Shaw and submit a written statement.

“Senator Cornyn is concerned that the issues addressed in tomorrow’s hearing will have enormous impacts on his state,” wrote Sen. James Inhofe, R-OK., the top Republican on the committee. “If Texas is required to comply, the state could be faced with a large number of plant retirements, thousands of lost jobs, and significantly higher energy costs.”

Texas has its own EPA, the TCEQ, and its clean air program has been running since the 1990s and has been found to be more effective than the EPA’s clean air programs. But the EPA is choosing to override the TCEQ anyway.