Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

Olson Questions EPA Administrator on Texas Energy Policies

February 9, 2011

Rep. Pete Olson today questioned Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson at a Congressional hearing on H.R. ___, the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011.  The discussion related to job impacts related to the EPA’s current and pending greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations. 

Olson questioned Administrator Jackson on EPA’s use of a rule correction to a State Implementation Plan (SIP) that was approved in 1992 to force Texas to comply with an endangerment finding from 2009 related to GHG’s.  EPA usurped state authority by ultimately disapproving the SIP and seizing control of Texas permitting.  Jacksondodged the question by reiterating the EPA’s insistence that Texas needs to comply in order for companies to issue permits.

“I asked the EPA for a justification for circumventing the role of Congress in regulating – or choosing not to regulate – GHG’s,” Olson said.  “In an attempt to impose the will of non-elected bureaucrats over the will of the legislative body, EPA has overreached in a manner that will impose unworkable mandates on energy producers and increase energy costs.  It was clear today that EPA does not see a problem with this action.  But I remain concerned with the impacts on our nation’s energy supply, the cost of energy to consumers and the job losses that will occur in Texas as a result.  I will continue to press for answers and work with my colleagues to ensure that Congress take the lead role on these matters as outlined in the constitution.”

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott also testified before the House Energy & Commerce Committee outlining a clear message on the impacts these overreaching regulations are having on the State of Texas. 

“Texas has without question improved air quality over the last few decades, while having the flexibility to maintain energy production for much of the nation,” Olson added.  “There is a proper role for oversight of air quality but it must be balanced with economic impacts and again, that role is determined by Congress – not EPA.”