ODESSA — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) submitted a letter to President Joseph Biden regarding the potential non-attainment designation of portions of the Texas Permian Basin by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The letter was also signed by seven other members of the Texas House who represent portions of the Permian Basin.
“We implore you to take necessary action as our nation’s chief executive to rein in the [EPA] and prevent this discretionary action from taking place,” the letter reads. “A non-attainment designation of the Permian Basin is at odds with U.S. economic and national security interests, and, ironically, environmental interests as well.”
In June, citing data obtained from air quality monitors in New Mexico, the EPA announced its intention to consider redesignating the Texas portion of the Permian Basin as a “non-attainment” area – an area that does not meet the standards of the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). If finalized, this proposal would require the state implement a plan to bring the area into attainment with the NAAQS, ultimately resulting in further regulatory burdens on the oil and gas industry in the Permian Basin that could slow production and reduce supply. The announced action is discretionary, giving the president the opportunity to prevent it from ultimately going into effect.
“As chairman of the Texas House Environmental Regulation Committee and a proud life-long West Texan, I will continue to do everything in my power to protect the people who live and work in the Permian Basin,” Landgraf said. “Here in West Texas, we want to breathe fresh air just as much as anyone on the west coast, and our great state has a long history of producing energy cleaner and more efficiently than any other region on earth. The EPA is ignoring this fact in favor of a Green New Deal-inspired fantasy that will ultimately cause the downfall of our nation if commonsense and reason do not prevail. I’m thankful we’re not alone in this fight for Texas energy and American freedom, as we have support from numerous members of the Texas legislature as well as Governor Abbott and Congressman Pfluger. We’ll keep fighting for what’s best for Texas, what’s best for the U.S.A.”
If President Biden does not direct the EPA to stand down, the next step of the redesignation process according to the Clean Air Act is a notification letter sent to the governors of Texas and New Mexico, creating the opportunity for affected states to provide feedback. The EPA then has to wait at least 240 days before a final redesignation decision can be made.