Smith: EPA Should Allow States Flexibility to Regulate

Feb 5, 2014

Washington, D.C. – The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee today held a hearing to focus on the scientific justification and cumulative impacts of regulations, policies and practices promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and their effects on state sovereignty. The hearing specifically focused on Texas as a case study.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “The devastating impact of EPA’s overreach can be felt from state houses to farmhouses across the nation.  Americans are tired of the red tape that hampers economic growth.  EPA’s regulatory ambitions threaten states’ rights and intrude on the every-day lives of our citizens. State regulators know how to protect the environment within their borders better than federal employees in Washington D.C. Even with the nation’s largest industrial sector, Texas had made vast improvements in air quality.  Localized data provides state regulators with the information they need to create effective, targeted air and water quality management. Unfortunately, too many within this administration believe that the only way to protect our environment is through federal government intervention and centralized ownership.  We should listen to voices from the states. It’s in everybody’s best interest for agencies like the EPA to help support these state efforts, not hinder them.”

From 2000 to 2012, ozone levels in Texas decreased by 23 percent.  The rest of the nation averaged an 11 percent decrease in ozone levels.  This success was reached through a collaborative effort that included the Texas state legislature, state agencies, local governments, industry and universities.  By working together, these groups designed and implemented innovative regulatory controls. Localized data provides state regulators with the information they need to create effective, targeted air and water quality management.

The following witnesses testified today:
The Honorable Bryan Shaw, Chairman, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
The Honorable David Porter, Commissioner, Railroad Commission of Texas
Mr. Kenneth Dierschke, President, Texas Farm Bureau
Dr. Elena Craft, Health Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund
Dr. Bernard Weinstein, Associate Director of the Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University

For additional information on today’s hearing, including witness testimony, you can visit the Science, Space, and Technology Committee website.