Texas Railroad Commission chair criticizes Obama, EPA federal overreach

Porter’s testimony focused on EPA methane emission rules, Clean Power Plan, and mercury and air toxics standards

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Steve Ghormley from Freedom CNG and Railroad Commissioner David Porter, right, fuel up a truck Photo: Dave Rossman.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter says new technology and market forces are more effective for reducing emissions and pollution than onerous federal regulations, speaking before the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power.

Porter said the Environmental Protection Agency has failed to base its regulations on sound science and their economic impact to both energy producers and to consumers, which, he asserted, the Commission has done for over a century.

“History shows that decreases in emissions and improved environmental conditions come about as a result of innovative technological advances and market-driven efficiencies, not through the massive overreach of federal bureaucrats,” Porter said.

“The Commission’s rulemaking decisions are based on sound science and potential economic impacts to all Texans.  When businesses are forced to stifle innovation and instead operate as bureaucracies, which EPA seems intent on achieving through its unwarranted and overreaching rules, both consumers and the environment pay the price.”

Porter criticized the recent Clean Air Act rulemakings for:

  • minimal interaction and consultation with Texas and other State regulatory authorities;
  • underestimated or ignored compliance costs;
  • overestimated, unjustified and exaggerated regulatory and environmental benefits;
  • increased regulatory and economic burdens on operating companies, particularly smaller oil and gas operators who make up an overwhelming majority of the industry in Texas; and
  • creation of “one-size-fits-all” regulations that ignore the significant differences in regional operating conditions and State regulatory systems.

“The underlying themes have been the consolidation of increased regulatory power in the federal government to the detriment of state authority, and the circumvention of the regulatory authority granted to EPA by Congress,” said Porter.

“I respectfully urge this committee to take the Railroad Commission’s comments on the Clean Air Act rulemaking by EPA seriously; impede this administration from further assuming unconstitutional powers and obtrusive regulations on states; and ensure that our nation continues to serve as the global energy leader we are today,” said Porter.

Posted in: Texas

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