Rick Perry To EPA: Stop. Sierra Club To EPA: Hurry The Eff Up

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The Environmental Protection Agency is getting hit from both ends for its actions in Texas.

The EPA has threatened to take over the permitting process from the Texas Commissin on Environmental Quality if the TCEQ doesn't get tougher on polluters.

Governor Rick Perry was in Deer Park yesterday, once again blasting the EPA and saying Texas has been one of the nation's leaders in combating air pollution.

The Sierra Club, on the other hand, was saying it will sue the EPA for not moving fast enough to improve Texas air.

"Last week, the federal government sent the very clear message that it seeks to destroy Texas's successful clean air program and threaten tens of thousands of good Texas jobs in the process. The EPA seems to believe that federal controls and bureaucracy are more important than clean air results," Perry said.

The Sierra Club had a different take.

"The state has failed to protect the citizens of Texas and other downwind states as required by the Clean Air Act,"* said David Baron, an attorney with Earthjustice, a group working with the Sierra Club. "The law unequivocally requires EPA to step in when states don't adopt the legally required safeguards."

The EPA has been too slow in doing so, and the environmental groups filed a formal notice of their intent to sue.

Iit's time to stand up to these industrial polluters and demonstrate that a green economy through new forms of generation is good for Texas business, good for our citizen's health and good for the environment," the Sierra Club's Jen Powis said.

On the other hand, Perry praised the state's "common-sense approach" that he says cleans the air and protects jobs.

Middle ground: Not going to be found anytime soon.

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