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Smokestack Lightning: Since Texas Won't Regulate Emissions, E.P.A. Will Handle Permits

Surely you're aware of the ongoing battle between the Environmental Protection Agency and Governor Rick Perry over the state's enforcement (cough) of the Clean Air Act. Long story short: The governor says the feds don't have the right to regulate greenhouse emissions, to which the feds have responded with a strongly worded, Are you kidding?

This morning's New York Times, matter of fact, directs our attention to E.P.A. assistant administrator Gina McCarthy's letter to state officials, sent earlier this week, in which she warns: Comply, or beginning December 23, the E.P.A. will take control of the permitting process, since Texas clearly can't get the job done.

In advance of the inevitable announcement today, James McKinley writes how this'll all go down:

In Texas, at least 167 projects are in the pipeline that would require the permits next year, and federal officials say the owners will have to go to the E.P.A.'s Dallas offices to get them. The takeover of the permitting process is necessary, they said, to keep new construction from grinding to a halt, federal officials said.

State officials see it differently. "This is an arrogant act by an overreaching E.P.A. that is trying to implement new, unnecessary controls on American industry," said Andrea Morrow, a spokeswoman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

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