May 5, 2009
Senator Kirk Watson released the following statement Tuesday after voting against the nomination of Dr. Bryan Shaw to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
This is a time of dramatic change in the world’s climate, economy, and approach to protecting the environment. More than ever, Texas needs a commission on environmental quality that recognizes and gets ahead of these changes in a way that protects people and businesses across the state.
Unfortunately, the Commission is dominated by those who, for far too long, have ignored, postponed, and denied the actions that Texans expect, the economy needs, and the law increasingly demands. Dr. Shaw embodies this embrace of a clearly unsatisfactory status quo.
He denies failures of Texas’ air permitting programs – issues that could soon lead to federal intervention. He openly questions established scientific evidence and consensus on critical issues such as climate change. And he repeatedly places the wishes of polluters over the needs of everyday Texans in the dubious permits that the agency continues to issue.
It’s long past time that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality put Texas citizens ahead of corporate polluters. These vital posts must be filled by true stewards who are prepared to lead the state into the 21st Century.