WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - For the second time in two weeks, a federal court has reversed the Environmental Protection Agency regarding a pollution ruling involving the state of Texas.
The EPA has experienced several such reversals in federal court this year. This latest ruling came Tuesday from the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. It rebuked the Environmental Protection Agency's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule as being improper and illegal.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott was very pleased by the ruling.
"Yet another federal court has reined in an overreaching EPA for violating federal law and intruding on Texas sovereignty," he said.
"Texas challenged the Obama Administration's burdensome and unlawful regulations because they jeopardized electric reliability in the state, threatened job losses for hard-working Texans, and exceeded the limits of the EPA's authority."
According to Abbott, the court said that the EPA ignored - and violated - the federal Clean Air Act by imposing regulations not authorized by federal law.
The lawsuit challenged the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens called "another overt power grab by the Obama administration."
Other states involved in the lawsuit were Kansas, Nebraska, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia.
The federal government identifies pollutants and establishes the national air quality standards - but states retain the authority and flexibility to enact their own unique state-based programs that ensure those standards are satisfied.
"Congress did not authorize EPA to simply adopt limits on emissions as EPA deemed reasonable," the court's opinion says. "Rather, Congress set up a federalism-based system of air pollution control. Under this cooperative federalism approach, both the Federal Government and the States play significant roles."