From: Ayesha Rascoe, Reuters, WASHINGTON
Published December 31, 2010 08:47 AM

U.S. court rules Texas cannot delay EPA - mandated greenhouse gas rules

A federal court on Wednesday blocked an attempt by Texas to delay the Environmental Protection Agency's plans to impose carbon regulations in the state early next year.

The state of Texas is suing the EPA to prevent the agency from forcing it to issue greenhouse gas permits for the biggest polluters when national carbon rules take effect in early January.


Until there is a ruling on the case, Texas asked the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to block the EPA's mandate that the state expand its pollution regulations to include greenhouse gases. The court denied the request.

The EPA issued a finding last year that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare. Since then the agency has moved forward with developing rules under the Clean Air Act to limit emissions blamed for climate change.

Beginning Jan 2., EPA will require large emitters such as power plants, refineries and cement manufacturers to obtain permits for polluting greenhouse gases.

The EPA has said it will issue permits for Texas, which has refused to adopt rules for emissions. Opponents of the climate rules say they will hurt the economy and kill jobs.

In its lawsuit, Texas called the EPA's carbon regulations "unlawful" and said the agency's attempt to force state compliance with the rules was "contrary to both the Clean Air Act and the Constitution."

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