Texas Set to Challenge a Second Detrimental EPA Rule in 2024

May 14, 2024

AUSTIN – Railroad Commission of Texas commissioners voted today to refer a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) greenhouse gas emissions rule to the Office of the Attorney General to file a lawsuit to challenge the rule in federal court.

The EPA rule adds regulations to existing and future electricity power plants fueled by coal and natural gas to decrease carbon dioxide emissions. However, the rule imposes strict but untested standards in what will likely result in unreasonable infrastructure costs, which could force coal plants to shut down and reduce the ability of natural gas-fired power plant to operate at full capacity.

That can have the detrimental effect of reducing electricity supply in Texas. The reliability of the electricity grid is of utmost importance in a state that continues to benefit from population and business growth, and a reliable grid is also needed to protect Texans during summer and winter weather fluctuations.

This is the second EPA rule that RRC commissioners have referred to the Attorney General to challenge this year. Two months ago, Texas challenged the EPA’s Methane Rule.

“In yet another baseless attack on the oil and gas industry, the Biden administration has proven their willingness to jeopardize the health and safety of Texans in the name of their ill-planned agenda,” said RRC Chairman Christi Craddick. “I appreciate the hard work of agency staff and look forward to the Attorney General’s action against this rule to protect Texas.”

“President Biden is hellbent on making American’s energy more expensive and less reliable just to virtue signal to his radical environmentalist friends and his globalist allies,” said Commissioner Wayne Christian. “These rules are an EPA ultimatum to fossil fuel-based power producers: eliminate CO2 or we’ll eliminate you. If Biden’s successful with his ‘Unreliable Power Plan,’ it will only mean more taxpayer-subsidized wind and solar energy, less dispatchable power for U.S. energy grids, and potential blackouts across the country. I hope Attorney General Paxton is successful in overturning this horrible rule.”

“This rule is but another example of the Biden Administration’s concerted effort to limit energy production at the expense of the American consumers.” said Commissioner Jim Wright. “This latest action by the EPA will not only make our electrical grid less reliable, but it will result in higher energy costs for American households. The only thing “green” about this rule will be the money flying out of middle-class pockets to pay their electricity bill if it isn’t overturned.”

The RRC and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality had filed comments opposing the rule when it was first drafted. Those comments can be found at this link https://www.rrc.texas.gov/media/cxxps5re/epa-comments-081423.pdf

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit https://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.