Olson Questions EPA Administrator on Texas Energy Policies
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 EPAâ€™s current and pending greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations.
Olson questioned Administrator Jackson on EPAâ€™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 GHGâ€™s. EPA usurped state authority by ultimately disapproving the SIP and seizing control of Texas permitting. Jacksondodged the question by reiterating the EPAâ€™s insistence that Texas needs to comply in order for companies to issue permits.
â€œI asked the EPA for a justification for circumventing the role of Congress in regulating â€“ or choosing not to regulate â€“ GHGâ€™s,â€ Olson said. â€œIn 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 nationâ€™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.â€
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.
â€œTexas has without question improved air quality over the last few decades, while having the flexibility to maintain energy production for much of the nation,â€ Olson added. â€œThere 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 â€“ not EPA.â€