Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging it to suspend, review and reconsider Obama-era EPA regulations that Texas challenged in 12 lawsuits that are still pending against the federal agency. The letter was sent Monday in response to a request for comments from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
The letter, which includes 110 pages of supporting documents, states that Texas took legal action against EPA rules and regulations that are unlawful, arbitrary and capricious, unnecessary or ineffective, and impose costs exceeding benefits.
One example cited in the letter is the EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan, which would raise electricity costs while weakening the nation’s power grid. Attorney General Paxton co-led a 24-state lawsuit to stop the rule, which is now under review by the EPA. The letter also mentions the attorney general’s lawsuit against an EPA rule on carbon and methane that would harm oil and gas production in Texas and across the nation.
Although litigation has been suspended in many of these matters, it continues in several others. Therefore, the letter requested that “[r]ather than have Texas and other petitioners continue to incur legal expenses and costs to challenge regulations that should be reevaluated, EPA should direct the Department of Justice to abate these matters pending further review of each rule.”
Noting that “the previous administration was unwilling to engage with most states, and took actions or issued rules ignoring the spirit of cooperative federalism embodied in the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act,” the letter from the attorney general’s office asks the EPA administrator to restore greater cooperation between the federal government and states in environmental regulation.