During our most recent Green News Report, we sang the praises of California for a number of recent, noteworthy environmental accomplishments and initiatives.
You'll pardon us if we do so just a bit more here, but only because it affords us an opportunity to bash Texas at the same time.
An editorial by the San Antonio News-Express late last week criticized how lawsuit-happy the state of Texas has become over the past decade. Specifically, under their former Republican AG, now Gov.-elect Greg Abbott, the state filed 31 lawsuits against the federal government from 2004 to 2013, claiming the state had little choice, as they'd become a victim, as some sort of "target" of the feds due to their "success." Or something. (Didn't those guys used to be pretend to be against frivolous abuse of the judicial system?)
Anyway, the paper's editorial board noted how the state has filed lawsuits against the federal government of late on everything from Obamacare to immigration to voting laws, etc. And then they noted this [emphasis added]...
Yes, Texas is a big state with a lot of people, but that doesn't fully explain why its emissions dwarf that of other states, according to the EPA's latest rankings. Texas leads at 441.2 million metric tons of emissions. More populous --- and also big --- California comes in at 116.9 million metric tons. Texas' emissions nearly equal that of the three next biggest contributors in the nation, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Louisiana.
Wow. Really? Texas, which has about two-thirds of the population of California, emits about 400% more greenhouse gases?
According to the EPA, it's true. Who knew? This set of EPA data (using a slightly different data-set from 2011) ranked Texas as the nation's top overall emitter, with 25.59 metric tons of CO2 emissions per capita, versus California, the nation's second largest overall emitter at the time, with just 9.18 metric tons per person.
Last summer, Abbott had a stinging loss at the U.S. Supreme Court during his attempt to keep the EPA from enforcing the Clean Air Act by setting limits for carbon emissions at large new power plants. After losing at the Court 7 to 2, Abbott accidentally correctly described it as "a great victory for the rule of law and for the Constitution," during his attempt to lie about the case to his constituents.
Even with the state's shameful record on emissions and at suing the federal government, Abbott has vowed to file even more frivolous lawsuits against the EPA's newly proposed rules to further reduce carbon emissions.
I don't know if "emissions shaming" has yet become a thing, but, if not, it should.
How embarrassing. For Texas.