Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) announced at a press conference Tuesday that he's suing the Environmental Protection Agency on behalf of Texas over its December decision to regulate greenhouse gases as a pollutant. Perry stated the intent of the lawsuit was to "defend Texas' environmental successes against federal overreach."
Perry cited in both the press conference and in his lawsuit the controversial leaked "ClimateGate" emails as evidence that the EPA's decision to regulate carbon emissions was inappropriate -- suggesting the science of global warming is somehow in doubt. Last November, the emails of several top climate scientists were hacked and published. Climate deniers seized upon a handful of quotes as evidence that man-made global warming is actually in doubt in the scientific community. However, several independent investigations have concluded that the content of the emails in no way casts doubt on the overwhelming, decades-long scientific research and consensus about the reality of climate change. (Check out our slideshow on the 6 Most Dubious Claims About ClimateGate.)
Perry et al also take aim at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or the IPCC, widely regarded as the best authority on climate issues for what they call the "troubling revelations about the conduct, objectivity, reliability, and propriety of the IPCC's processes, assessments, and contributors."
Talking Points Memo notes that Perry's actions may be politically motivated.
Perry is currently locked in a heated GOP primary battle for re-election. He enjoys a healthy lead over Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), but the race has lately been shaken up by Debra Medina, a far-right darling of the Tea Party movement, who has taken off in recent polls.