By Dallas Business Journal

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, saying that thousands of Texas jobs could be lost due to federal efforts to quash a state program that deals with air emissions.

Abbottâ¿¿s suit reiterates concerns voiced by Texas Gov. Rick Perry earlier this year. Perry had argued that the decision to switch a federally mandated program after years of accepting a Texas regulation is misguided.

The program the EPA is targeting is the Flexible Permits Program. In effect since 1994, the program allows older companies to be grandfathered out of federal emissions regulations and enter into a voluntary program that gave them flexibility, while reducing emissions.

In a statement, Abbott said the EPA⿿s decision "imposes significant uncertainty on entities that employ thousands of Texans and threatens the livelihood of their employees who depend upon those facilities for their jobs.⿝

Abbotâ¿¿s lawsuit is an attempt, he says, to defend the stateâ¿¿s legal rights and challenge what he considers government overreach.

Perry says he supports the suit, calling it "the next step in our ongoing commitment to fight back against the Obama Administration⿿s ever-widening effort to undermine our air quality initiatives and force a heavy-handed federal agenda on the people of Texas.⿝

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010