WASHINGTON, D.C.— Energy and Commerce Committee members Joe Barton (R-TX), Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), and Pete Olson (R-TX) issued the following statement in response to the ruling by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit vacating EPA’s disapproval of the longstanding Texas Flexible Permit Program.
“We are pleased with the court’s decision to stand up to EPA’s overreach. EPA’s disapproval of Texas’ permitting program has unraveled approximately 140 permits, created great regulatory uncertainty, and stalled the creation of thousands of new jobs. The court recognized the important role that states play in designing air quality programs and ruled that EPA had acted in excess of its statutory authority—a common theme we have seen throughout this administration. This attempt to extend EPA’s power has done nothing to advance environmental protection, but only created more red tape, served as an impediment to growth, and wasted valuable time and resources.”
The Subcommittee on Energy and Power held a field hearing in Houston last year addressing the impacts of EPA regulations on the state of Texas, including EPA’s actions related to the Texas flexible permitting program. These issues were also raised at the subcommittee’s recent hearing on EPA enforcement priorities and practices. Texas’ Flexible Permit Program had been in successful operation in the state for over 15 years when EPA decided to take control of permitting and disapprove the program in 2010. EPA has subsequently forced over a hundred businesses to go through an onerous and costly “de-flexing” process.