Railroad Commission Chairman Smitherman Comments on Supreme Court’s Decision to Hear Greenhouse Gas Cases


AUSTIN — The United States Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear six cases to determine if the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration (“EPA”) exceeded its authority to regulate greenhouse gases from stationary sources.  Texas has asserted that the EPA did not have the legal authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources such as power plants and factories.

"The Supreme Court’s announcement that it will consider these cases gives us a glimmer of hope that the Obama Administration's attempt at legislating through regulatory fiat could be blunted," Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman said.  "We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will declare the EPA 's unbridled attempt to regulate CO2, emitted from power plants, outside the clear language of the Clean Air Act."

A Supreme Court decision will determine if the EPA’s ability to regulate motor vehicle emissions also gives it the authority to regulate emissions from power plants and factories.  The State of Texas argues that it does not.

"We have been fighting against federal government overreach for years to protect Texas jobs and the economy.  We will continue to do so until the federal government starts following the Constitution and laws of the United States," Smitherman concluded.


Chairman Barry Smitherman was appointed to the Railroad Commission of Texas in July 2011, and was elected Chairman in February 2012. In November 2012, Chairman Smitherman won a statewide election to the Commission with 74 percent of the vote, receiving more than 4.5 million votes. Chairman Smitherman currently serves as Texas’ representative on both the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and the Southern States Energy Board, and as Chair of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Gas Committee. He is on the Visiting Committee of the Bureau of Economic Geology with the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas School of Law Center for Global Energy,