33% of the country’s oil refining capacity shut down

What the heck?  Looks like another overreach by the Obama administration.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday officially overturned a 16-year-old Texas air permitting program it says violates the Clean Air Act, leaving some of the country’s largest refineries in a state of limbo.

The move comes after years of backdoor bickering, negotiations and public arguments between the EPA and Texas. The argument recently escalated from a battle over environmental issues into a heated political dispute over states‘ rights.

Gov. Rick Perry has been using it to drive home his contention that President Barack Obama‘s administration is overreaching, saying in a statement Wednesday that “Texas will continue to fight this federal takeover of a successful state program.”

The EPA’s decision, announced in a statement, will force some 125 refineries and petrochemical plants to invest millions of dollars to get new permits. Many of the plants may also have to invest in updates to comply with federal regulations.

The decision did not come as a surprise to Texas or the industries. EPA regional director Al Armendariz has said for months he would disapprove the permits if Texas did not comply with the Clean Air Act.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality‘s chairman Bryan Shaw insisted Wednesday the state’s permitting program complies with the Clean Air Act and has improved air quality in Texas. However, in an effort to satisfy the EPA’s concerns, Shaw said the commission recently changed the rules but apparently the EPA “did not take them into consideration.” (Source: Yahoo News)

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