AUSTIN (April 18, 2013)--The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality would no longer have the authority to limit greenhouse gas emissions under a proposal approved Thursday by the Texas House.
Lawmakers in Austin voted on Thursday to have TCEQ issue greenhouse gas permits to allow local industries to emit the substances.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency currently has that responsibility.
The bill's author, state Rep. Wayne Smith, R-Baytown, says there is a backup of permits in Washington and the bill will help Texas industries.
Environmentalists oppose the bill because they say it could lead to more climate changing pollution and they also complain the bill would take away the public's right to challenge permits issued by TCEQ.
The bill goes to the Senate for consideration.