Texans challenge EPA smog rules

July 25, 2012 at 7:11 AM
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HOUSTON, July 25 (UPI) -- A move by the Environmental Protection Agency to include certain Texas counties in tough standards for ozone isn't based on science, an energy company said.

A consortium of energy companies, state and local Texas governments filed a claim in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia asking the EPA to review its ozone standards for parts of the state.

Cindy Allen, a spokeswoman for consortium member Devon Energy, told the Platts news service the EPA's decision to include Wise Count and the Dallas-Fort Worth area was "not based on sound science."

Devon is active in shale natural gas plays in that region.

Texas was one of 27 states required under EPA rules to cut emissions that cross state lines. The state said the rule threatens its citizens' livelihood and would force it to reduce electricity generation.

The Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates surface mining of coal, last year called on the state's attorney general to challenge the EPA's pollution rules.

The commission accused the EPA of making flawed decisions and blamed an "overzealous" U.S. President Barack Obama for deliberately moving to hurt the Texas economy.

The EPA has said the pollution measure would ultimately clear the court.

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