Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, Attorney General Greg Abbott and Gov. Rick Perry joined in challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

The trio submitted a petition that outlines how EPA has ignored major scientific conclusions and questions the federal government decision to regulate greenhouse gases based on fragile claims.

“EPA’s move to regulate greenhouse gases could impose devastating rules on those Texans who fuel one of our state’s largest economic sectors – farmers and ranchers,” Staples says. “As a regulatory agency, the Texas Department of Agriculture is required to impose rules based on sound science not political science. Not only does state law require this, but it is also a fundamental principle by which regulators all across the United States have always lived. EPA has ignored extensive research on greenhouse gas emissions and based this significant regulation on faulty data.”

Last December, EPA ruled that greenhouse gases were harmful to the environment, despite scientific evidence that suggests otherwise. Now the agency plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the Clean Air Act, which could mean costly mandates for farmers and ranchers.

Attorney general Abbott says climate change is an issue that requires careful analysis of all available data and options, steps which the EPA chose not to follow.

“Ninety-seven percent of land in Texas is privately owned, and more than 80% of land in the state is in some form of agricultural use,” Staples says. “Agriculture is a $106 billion industry in Texas, and as some of our state’s first environmentalists, farmers and ranchers know they must take care of the land in order for it to take care of them. For centuries they have invested in science and research to ensure not only the preservation of our natural resources, but the availability of the safest, most affordable and most abundant food supply in the world.”

For more details on the petition, visit www.TexasAgriculture.gov.