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| Courts |

EPA Nut-Kicking Braggadocio Doesn't Save Judge in High-Profile Fracking Case From Republican Primary Opponent

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Voters up in Parker County must not have thought much of district Judge Trey Loftin's campaign mailers bragging about how his "decision regarding deceptive actions by environmental extremists made the EPA reevaluate its national policy."

That's pretty grandiose, and it sounded like he was referring to the case of Steve Lipsky, the Parker County guy who can literally light his well water on fire. He hired an environmental consultant named Alisa Rich, who has, coincidentally I am sure, been characterized as an extremist by Fort Worth-based Range Resources, the company fracking wells beneath Lipsky's home.

Surely Loftin couldn't be referring to a case pending in his own court, right? I mean, the image above asks cryptically why Rush Limbaugh was congratulating him on his recent court orders. There's no way Loftin could be touting his rulings against Lipsky -- who is now being sued by Range for defamation in his very court, and on Loftin's say-so -- as conservative victories in a war against Obama's radicalized EPA. After all, that would hardly seem unbiased, coming from a judge.

He's still insisting to the local paper that these statements have nothing whatsoever to do with any pending case before him. "I do believe in the integrity of the judicial system," he told the Weatherford Democrat.

So, that's it. End of discussion. Loftin didn't mean it like that.

Wait, there's more? "The EPA, using falsified evidence provided by a liberal activist environmental consultant, accused and fined a local gas driller of contaminating wells. Obama's EPA backed down only after Judge Trey Loftin ruled that the evidence was 'deceptive.'" Oh, wow. That's so...specific. No room for interpretation there.

Loftin might have thought that in an oil-and-gas town like Weatherford, the electorate would cheer a judge willing to stick up for the industry that butters the bread. But nay, he lost his GOP primary Wednesday night by about 500 votes to a local attorney named Craig Towson.

Al Stewart, Lipsky's attorney, needn't have spent all that time writing a motion for Loftin's recusal. The voters of Parker County did it for him.

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