by Brian Roberts

A few days ago I wrote an article entitled “The EPA can go to Hell, and I will go to Texas“. The article pointed out that Texas could (and does) favorably manage it’s own environmental policy while maintaining a superior economy. Both of which the federal government has failed to do. The EPA’s goal is simple: accrual of more power into the hands of the gluttonous feds.

For the last week, Governor Perry and the Texas legislature have been rattling the 10th amendment sabers and highlighting the success of the Texas policies. However, this week, the EPA officially took over control of the permitting process for one of these Texas refineries. EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz stated that the EPA is prepared to take over Texas’ entire permitting process. Now that the EPA has made it’s move, it is time for Texas leaders to quit talking and take significant action.

Here are concrete steps that the state of Texas needs to take to reassert it’s Constitutional right to govern without federal intrusion. Nullification, based on the 10th amendment  and our founding principles of federalism, is the legal answer to a federal government that seeks to centralize power without restraint.

Step 1: Governor Perry calls a special session

Since the Texas legislature does not meet until 2011, the Governor of Texas must call for a special session of the Texas legislature.

Step 2: Texas Legislature passes nullification legislation

Something simple like this should do the trick:

SECTION 1. The legislature of the State of  Texas finds that:

1. The People of the several states comprising the United States of America created the federal government to be their agent for certain enumerated purposes, and nothing more.

2. The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution defines the total scope of federal power as being that which has been delegated by the people of the several states to the federal government, and all power not delegated to the federal government in the Constitution of the United States is reserved to the states respectively, or to the people themselves.

3. The assumption of power that the federal government has made by enacting the “Clear Air Act” interferes with the right of the People of the State of Texas to regulate the state oil and gas industry as they see fit, and makes a mockery of James Madison’s assurance in Federalist #45 that the “powers delegated” to the Federal Government are “few and defined”, while those of the States are “numerous and indefinite.”


A new section of law to be codified in the [STATE] Statutes as Section [NUMBER] of Title [NUMBER], unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:

A. The Legislature of the State of Texas declares that the federal law known as the “Clean Air Act,” and the federal agency known as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and violates its true meaning and intent as given by the Founders and Ratifiers, and is hereby declared to be invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, is specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.

B. It shall be the duty of the legislature of this State to adopt and enact any and all measures as may be necessary to prevent the enforcement of the “Clean Air Act” within the limits of this State.

C. Any official, agent, or employee of the United States government or any employee of a corporation providing services to the United States government that enforces or attempts to enforce an act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the government of the United States in violation of this act shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction must be punished by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000.00), or a term of imprisonment not exceeding five (5) years, or both.

D. Any public officer or employee of the State of Texas that enforces or attempts to enforce an act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the government of the United States in violation of this act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding two (2) years or by a fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or both such fine and imprisonment.

E. Any aggrieved party shall also have a private action against any person violating the provisions of subsections (C) or (D).

SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

Of course, it may make more sense to identify specific parts of the Clean Air Act in more detail, but rejecting the entire charter of the EPA in Texas would be a huge step for freedom and state soverignty. Once drafted, no Republican worth the (R) next to his name should vote against this and no Democrat worth the “Texas” next to his name should either.

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Step 3: Governor Perry signs Nullification Legislation

Back to you governor for the signature, that will send those EPA thugs packing.

And next time this Administrator Al Armendari steps foot in Texas, he should be escorted to the nearest border, where he can scurry back to Washington D.C. with the message that Texas is done playing games, they’ve finally had enough.

Brian Roberts [send him email] is the State Chapter Coordinator for the Texas Tenth Amendment Center

Copyright © 2010 by Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

The 10th Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”



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