Denounce Texas’s Effort to Dodge Federal Pollution Fines for Fossil Fuels

Target: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Goal: Voice opposition to Texas’s attempts to avoid pollution penalties from the federal government

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the body charged with protecting the environment in Texas, is attempting to gain an exemption from fees for failing to meet clean air standards at 260 oil refineries and chemical plants. They are arguing that their attempts to curb pollution from motorists should compensate for their repeated failures to meet federal clean air standards from numerous fossil fuel and chemical plants in the state that consistently over-pollute.

The intent of federal clean air standards has been to reduce smog in the air, and the city of Houston, near which many of these plants are situated, continues to experience smog problems and air pollution. Money spent on encouraging cleaner cars would do nothing to reduce the unacceptable levels of emissions from these plants. And yet, the state is doing everything it can to avoid forcing these plants to pay fines and, ultimately, reduce emissions.

Sign the petition below to denounce these efforts by the state of Texas to circumvent federal clean air regulations and dodge emissions fines meant to reduce smog.


Dear Texas Commission on Environmental Quality,

Your recent attempts to avoid paying fines for air pollution from chemical plants around Houston are missing the point of federal regulation – to reduce air pollution and smog nationwide. Spending money to encourage cleaner car emissions is a good thing and worthy of praise, but is no substitute for holding businesses that fail to meet clean air standards to account.

I am writing to ask that your attempts to avoid these fines against over-polluting plants be dropped. If the plants are forced to pay the fines, they will find, as the regulation intended, that it is cheaper to reduce emissions that to pay such fines, resulting in cleaner air around Houston and all over Texas. As the body charged with protecting the quality of the environment of Texas, I am dismayed that you would go to such lengths to avoid cleaning up the air in Texas. Please reconsider your actions.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: christopherbarnette via Flickr

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