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    EPA's non-attainment threat renewed

    May 26, 2023 - Bob Campbell, Odessa American, Texas


      May 25—Congressman August Pfluger reported Thursday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had revived its threat to declare the Permian Basin a non-attainment area for ozone control, which he said "would have wide-reaching negative impacts by damaging our ability to produce oil and natural gas and raising the cost of energy for all Americans."

      Pfluger told the Odessa American that he had finally reached EPA Region 6 Administrator Earthea Nance of Dallas after trying to get a response from her for over a year.

      "After a discussion with the EPA regional administrator, I have reason to believe that the EPA intends to issue a non-attainment designation for the Permian Basin," the San Angelo Republican said from Washington. "The Biden administration has weaponized the EPA against the oil and gas industry and I will continue fighting tooth and nail on their behalf."

      Pfluger said he had notified Gov. Greg Abbott and State Rep. Brooks Landgraf of Odessa "that the non-attainment ruling may be delivered imminently," despite the EPA's having announced in early January that it had abandoned the idea.

      "I had a call with Earthea Nance and she said that she and her team had not made a final decision, but they were considering it very seriously," he said. "I pressed her about where the air monitoring stations are because there are only two in New Mexico, none in Texas, and I wanted to know how they had come to this point.

      "I asked when the last time was that she had visited Midland or Odessa or anywhere in the Permian Basin and she said she had never been there."

      Landgraf said Thursday afternoon from Austin that the EPA "is once again up to its old tricks of using out-of-state data to justify an attempt to redesignate the Texas Permian Basin as being in non-attainment for ozone levels.

      "Thankfully, I've already been in communication with Congressman Pfluger and Gov. Abbott and can report that the State of Texas will do everything possible to fight this flawed redesignation, which could result in federal restrictions on oil and gas production," Landgraf said.

      "We produce the world's energy with more thought and care for human life and the environment than any other region on earth. I will always fight for the best interests of the Permian Basin because it's always what's best for Texas, the United States of America and anyone else who values freedom and liberty on this planet."

      Pfluger, reviewing the national debt ceiling negotiations between President Biden and U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, said energy is an important element.

      "At this moment it appears that portions of House Resolution 1, the Republicans' broad energy package, may be included in a deal on the debt ceiling, specifically reforming the permitting process and the National Environmental Policy Act," he said.

      Noting that the debt now totals $32 trillion, Pfluger said, "Biden would prefer to raise the ceiling without any strings attached, but we are not going to do that.

      "He has been spending an enormous amount of money, trillions, in his first two years and we want to get back to the 2022 spending levels, which would save about $5 trillion in 10 years."


      (c)2023 the Odessa American (Odessa, Texas)

      Visit the Odessa American (Odessa, Texas) at

      Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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