Texas vs. EPA


Texas versus Environmental Protection Agency

Pat Caddell recently opined that the American peoples’ mood – after being repeatedly shoved by the radical left – is ‘pre-revolutionary’. Ordinarily, I’d be inclined to dismiss Pat’s comment as hyperbolic but these are certainly not ordinary times. If you doubt me, simply consider Texas and the EPA.

As we know by now, the EPA has decided that it will implement ‘cap and trade’ by regulation in the absence of Congressional action. And the EPA has wasted no time in accosting states on the new regulations it intends to implement.

But the EPA hadn’t reckoned with Texas. As Richard Fernandez recently wrote, Texas has responded to the EPA in “language that is just short of grapeshot and gunpowder.” In a letter to the EPA, the Texas Attorney General and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality refused to “pledge their fealty to the Environmental Protection Agency”. In case you missed the subtlety, “fealty” is what a medieval vassal pledged to his feudal lord.

The letter’s language is choice. Some excepts:

On behalf of the State of Texas, we write to inform you that Texas has neither the authority nor the intention of interpreting, ignoring, or amending its laws in order to compel the permitting of greenhouse gas emissions. … You have declared that EPA’s decision … renders such gases immediately “subject to regulation” … simultaneously, however, you recognize that permitting greenhouse gases under the Act is “absurd” …

In order to avoid the absurd results of EPA’s own creation, you have developed a “tailoring rule” in which you have substituted your own judgment for Congress’s … the State of Texas does not believe that EPA’s “suggested” approach comports with the rule of law. The United States and Texas Constitutions, United States and Texas statutes, and EPA and TCEQ rules all preclude …

We start with the constitutional difficulties … each of these objections to EPA’s demand for a loyalty oath from the State of Texas would suffice to justify our refusal to make one. Indeed, it is an affront …”

As Fernandez observes, this is language from an almost forgotten past. I agree. It’s the kind of blunt talk used by an aggrieved man under the Code Duello, stating his grievance and demanding satisfaction. It’s the step just before the choice of seconds and selection of weapons.

It means a direct confrontation of a kind we cannot now guess.