Texas has again won a battle against the EPA thanks to a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. As a result, Texas can continue utilizing its flexible permitting program — a victory for the 10th amendment, and Texas’ economy.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday the EPA overstepped its bounds by prohibiting the State of Texas from utilizing its “flexible permitting program.” The program allowed refineries, power plants and other major industrial facilities to implement their own pollution-control protocols, so long as their aggregate amount of emissions did not exceed levels set by the federal government.

Not good enough, said the Obama Administration. In typical disregard for the 10th Amendment, they argued such policy gave “too much discretionary power” to the director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

In other words, it’s not good enough to meet guidelines set by the federal government. You have to do it in the manner President Obama and his bureaucrats tell you to.

So much for federalism.

Ironically, the policy to give more freedom to industrial facilities was started during Governor Ann Richards’ administration. Even as a liberal Democrat, she apparently had no problem trusting Texans with the power to regulate Texans.

Thanks to the 5th Circuit, Texas is free yet again to give businesses the discretion to implement their own pollution-control policies – so long as they meet standards set in the federal Clean Air Act.

That’s a big victory for the 10th Amendment, and another blow to the overreaching EPA.

Dustin Matocha

Dustin Matocha is the CFO and COO of Texas Scorecard. Dustin graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Management, a BA in Government, and a minor in Marketing. He’s a self-described Corvette enthusiast, baseball purist, tech geek and growing connoisseur of local craft beer.


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