Take a Deep Breath...For Now
In a spot of news that has us very happy, albeit temporarily, Texas State District Judge Stephen Yelenosky ruled that Governor Rick Perry does not have authority under the Texas Constitution to issue an executive order to 'fast-track' the permit process to build dirty-coal power plants, granting a major, if not temporary, victory to environmental activists and others concerned with the Governor's egregious abuse of executive powers, which more and more are seemingly related to campaign contributions and personal ties.
If you're not too familiar with the situation, activists have charged that Perry's 'fast-track' order was specifically designed to give the dirty-coal plants approval before the federal government sets mandatory standards restricting the CO2 emissions of such plants, a likely scenario under the new Democrat-controlled chambers. Judge Yelenosky's order effectively postpones the expedited hearings Perry's executive order had rush-granted, which, for the time being, creates a delay by allowing sufficient time for interested parties to fully present arguments against the dirty and inefficient coal plants which TXU and Perry have in mind: "[Such groups] have established that they will be irreparably harmed," if the executive fast-track order is not stopped, "because they will be forever deprived of a meaningful opportunity to be heard."
There are many detriments to these dirty-coal plants being built in Texas (or anywhere), and we have been vocal opponents of their being built, having sent e-mails, made calls, written op-ed pieces against the whole situation, and also having contributed money to the Environmental Defense Fund, one of the groups which originated the lawsuit that pressed the issue on which Judge Yelenosky has now ruled. We know the fight is not over, but at least for now, we are quite thrilled with this unlikely turn. It's rare, but so good, to see that Texas has not yet completely fallen to the Hummer-driving, planet-destroying Neo-cons like Rick Perry and his ilk.