Archive for August, 2012

State leaders score second victory over EPA this month

Governor Rick Perry, Attorney General Greg Abbott and Senator John Cornyn are all praising a court decision on an EPA rule regarding power plant pollution that crosses into neighboring states. A US Court of Appeals in Washington said the restrictions on cross-state air pollution were too strict on "up-wind" states.

Texas, along with some other states, challenged the law in court. Abbot claimed the restrictions violated federal law and intruded on Texas sovereignty.

"Texas challenged the Obama Administration’s burdensome and unlawful regulations because they jeopardized electric reliability in the state, threatened job losses for hard-working Texans, and exceeded the limits of the EPA’s authority," Abbott said in a press release. "Vindicating the state’s objections to EPA’s aggressive and lawless approach, today’s decision is an important victory for federalism and a rebuke to a federal bureaucracy run amok."

Governor Perry, who you might remember wanted to rebuild the EPA if elected president, used the court’s decision as another example of how and why he disagrees with President Obama’s administration.

"[Tuesday’s] court decision is further proof of an out-of-control and out-of-line EPA," Gov. Perry said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. "On the heels of our recent flexible air permitting program victory, today’s ruling further dismantles the misguided agenda of President Obama’s activist, overreaching EPA that has no regard for the impact of its imprudent policies on states’ economies or Americans’ checkbooks. Texas will continue to pursue common sense policies that balance the priorities of protecting the environment and allowing our industries to thrive.”

The rule would have taken effect in January. Earlier this month, a circuit court decision upheld the state’s flexible permitting program. That program had been rejected by the EPA.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Cornyn: Todd Akin should do what’s best for party

Texas Senator John Cornyn, Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, called Rep. Todd Akin’s comments on abortion in the case of rape "wrong, offensive and indefensible." Akin said over the weekend that in the case of "legitimate rape" a woman’s body "has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Republican Sen. Scott Brown from Massachusetts and Wisconsin Tea Party-backed Sen. Ron Johnson have called on Akin to remove his name from the November ballot.

Cornyn went on to say, "I recognize that this is a difficult time for him, but over the next twenty-four hours, Congressman Akin should carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party, and the values that he cares about and has fought for throughout his career in public service."

Several media outlets are reporting the NRSC and Karl Rove’s Super PAC Crossroads GPS have said they won’t continue to fund Akin’s race if he decides to keep running.

The congressman acknowledged he misspoke but said he is not a quitter and plans to stay in the race. According to Missouri law, he needs to decide by Tuesday in order for the Republican Party to select a candidate to replace him.

Akin won the Missouri Republican primary earlier this month. He’s now running against incumbent Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill. Republicans had hoped to pick up the seat and control of the US Senate in November. A Mitt Romney campaign spokesman said Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan disagree with Akin’s comments. The campaign said a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in cases of rape.

Hutchison tells MSNBC she’s ‘probably’ done running for office

Outgoing Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison once thought about running for president, but for now she’s "probably" done running for office. She also dislikes the term RINO, because she doesn’t think Republicans should attack each other. She told this to Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s "Daily Rundown" Tuesday during her "exit interview."

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State leaders respond to College Station shooting

State leaders are responding to today’s shooting in College Station that left three people, including a Brazos County Constable, dead.

Attorney General Greg Abbott issued this statement:

"Senseless attacks by violent criminals have no place in the State of Texas–and will not be tolerated. The Attorney General’s Office has offered law enforcement assistance to the Department of Public Safety and our Crime Victim Services personnel have contacted local authorities to ensure they have whatever resources are necessary to aid the victims of this terrible crime.

Senator John Cornyn issued this statement:

"My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the shooting in College Station this afternoon. I join the community in expressing my deepest condolences.”

Perry praises EPA court ruling

Gov. Rick Perry is calling today’s 5th Circuit Court of appeals ruling against the EPA a "big win for jobs and a big win for Texas."

The battle between Texas and the EPA came to a head in 2010, when the Environmental Protection Agency implemented new, tighter federal greenhouse gas regulations. At the same time, the agency rejected Texas’ existing flexible permitting program, which was handled by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The agency claimed the cap set by the TCEQ might still allow companies to exceed stricter federal standards.

In June, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a brief on behalf of nine states. He claimed the EPA was trying to implement regulations that ignore the Clean Air Act, which is a "partnership between the state and the federal government."

Today, in a 2-1 ruling, a three judge panel sided with Texas, stating "It is clear that Congress had a specific vision when enacting the Clean Air Act: The Federal and State governments were to work together, with assigned statutory duties and responsibilities, to achieve better air quality" and that "The EPA’s final rule disapproving Texas’s Flexible Permit Program transgresses the Clean Air Act’s delineated boundaries of this cooperative relationship."

The ruling does still require the state’s permitting process to get EPA approval, however.

Here is Governor Perry’s full statement:

“This decision is a big win for jobs and a big win for Texas. Our state has demonstrated you can cultivate jobs while cleaning the air, and this finding affirms that states have the right to develop permitting processes that balance the priorities of protecting the environment and allowing our industries to thrive. It’s unfortunate we had to go to such extremes to fight back against this troubling trend of overreach and reckless political activism by the Obama Administration that shows no regard for the impact on jobs or our economy.”

And here’s the court’s full opinion:

Cruz to headline RNC convention

The Republican National Committee announced Wednesday U.S. Senate nominee Ted Cruz will be the headliner at the party’s upcoming convention in Tampa Bay.

Cruz, a darling of the Tea Party, is the former Texas Solicitor General who won the nomination last Tuesday, beating Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

The 2012 Republican National Convention will be held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Aug. 27-30.

YNN’s Capital Tonight Team will be there bringing you live coverage throughout the week.

Sadler: Conservative tied to controversial ad offered support

Just before our weekly political show "Capital Tonight" went on the air Thursday, a report linking U.S. Senate Democratic nominee Paul Sadler to the Texas Conservatives Fund Super PAC surfaced.

The pro-Dewhurst Texas Conservatives Fund is the Super PAC that paid for the television spot linking then U.S. Senate Republican candidate Ted Cruz to a young man’s suicide.

Courtesy: Associated Press

In talking with Sadler’s staff directly, Doug Dodson detailed that Sadler was contacted by "somebody connected to the ad, but not with the Texas Conservatives Fund."

Not wanting to disclose the person’s identity, Dodson would not provide any further information only to say they reached out "to offer their support" in Sadler’s run against Cruz in the general election.

Dodson said Sadler declined the offer. He also clarified that any implication that the Texas Conservatives Fund offered money is incorrect.

Rob Johnson, the founder of the Texas Conservatives Fund, also confirmed that his Super PAC did not make such an offer.

Cruz secured the GOP nomination in Tuesday’s runoff election, beating out Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

Craddick wins runoff for Texas Railroad Commission

Photo courtesy

Christi Craddick defeated state Rep. Warren Chisum for the Republican nomination for a seat on the Texas Railroad Commission, which has nothing to do with trains but regulates oil and gas exploration statewide.

Craddick will face Democrat Dale Henry in November’s general election for the Place 1 seat on the three-member commission.

Born in Midland, Craddick is an Austin oil and gas attorney whose father is former Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick. Chisum has been a Texas lawmaker for more than 25 years.

All the candidates for the board campaigned against overregulation by the Environmental Protection Agency and said the Railroad Commission’s name should be changed to reflect its true duties.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press, All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Smitherman gets GOP nod for Railroad Commission

Photo courtesy Texas Railroad Commission.

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman has defeated Gregory Parker for the Republican nomination to retain his seat on the board that has nothing to do with trains but regulates oil and gas exploration statewide.

Smitherman faces no Democratic opposition in the November general election for the Place 2 seat on the three-member commission.

Gov. Rick Perry appointed Smitherman to the chairman position last year, replacing Michael Williams. Smitherman is running to complete Williams’ original term, which expires in 2014.
Smitherman was an attorney for the Public Utility Commission and later became its chairman. He helped create Texas’ robust wind power infrastructure.

All the candidates for the board campaigned against over regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency and said the Railroad Commission’s name should be changed to reflect its true duties.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press, All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.