Federal Court Upholds EPA's Greenhouse Gas Rules | KERA News

Federal Court Upholds EPA's Greenhouse Gas Rules

A federal appeals court is upholding the first federal regulations to reduce the gases blamed for global warming.

The rules - challenged by industry groups and states, including Texas - will reduce emissions of six heat-trapping gases from large industrial facilities, such as factories and power plants, as well as automobile tailpipes.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals said Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency was "unambiguously correct" in using existing federal law to address global warming. The court denied two of the challenges, including one arguing the agency erred in concluding greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare.

The court dismissed challenges to two other regulations.

AP

Texas A&M buying Texas Wesleyan law school

Texas A&M officials say the university is buying the law school at private Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth for $20 million.

Texas A&M has long sought to establish a law school. Chancellor John Sharp says having one will boost Texas A&M's prestige while also providing the first public law school in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The University of North Texas is scheduled to open its new law school in Dallas in 2014.

Texas Wesleyan agreed Monday night to sell the school to Texas A&M. Texas A&M also will sign a 40-year lease for the law school building.

The renamed Texas A&M Law School at Texas Wesleyan University will specialize in business and intellectual property law. Texas A&M System regents are expected to approve the deal later this week.

AP

North Texas has another minor earthquake

Texas has had another minor earthquake. The U.S. Geological Survey says a 2.6 magnitude quake happened around 4 a.m. Tuesday in North Texas.

Experts say the quake was centered about 1 mile south of Alvarado. The area is about 10 miles east-north of Cleburne and 25 miles south of Fort Worth.

No damage or injuries were immediately reported.

Minor earthquakes were recorded Saturday and Sunday in the same general area of North Texas.

USGS says another quake happened early Sunday in South Texas near Tilden, about 100 mi les northwest of Corpus Christi.

Experts say a 2.2 magnitude earthquake occurred Monday morning in Central Texas, about 13 miles southwest of Corsicana.

AP

Perry joins new jobs announcement in North Texas

Gov. Rick Perry is in North Texas to join a health insurance company's announcement of 800 new jobs in the region.

A subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group says it is hiring 750 insurance agent positions and 50 additional trainers, managers and staff. Perry and UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley announced the positions Tuesday in front of a new facility for the subsidiary, Connextions.

UnitedHealth says it is also hiring for 330 jobs in Houston, 250 in San Antonio and 115 in Harlingen.

Perry says Texas is attracting jobs because it has lower taxes and fewer regulations.

AP

Wife testifies for Texas stand-your-ground convict

The wife of a man who claimed Texas' version of a stand-your-ground law allowed him to fatally shoot a neighbor tells jurors her husband is very remorseful.

Raul Rodriguez faces up to life in prison for the 2010 killing of Kelly Danaher.

Testimony in the punishment phase of Rodriguez's Houston trial continued Tuesday.

Donna Rodriguez testified her husband cries at night about the shooting.

In a recording of the incident, Rodriguez says he fears for his life and is standing his ground.

Defense attorneys say Rodriguez acted in self-defense, but prosecutors say he was the aggressor, taking a gun to confront his neighbor about noise.

A Florida neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in February is relying on a stand-your-ground law for his defense.

AP

AAA expects nearly 3M Texans to take holiday trips

A travel association expects nearly 3 million Texans will hit the road during the Fourth of July holiday period.

AAA Texas says the travel prediction is for Tuesday, July 3, through Sunday, July 8.

The association projects 2.98 million Texans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday weekend. That's a nearly 5 percent increase over last year. Most of the travelers are expected to drive.

AAA Texas is predicting an average distance of 987 miles round trip for all holiday travelers.

AP

Army Corps approves Texas portion of oil pipeline

The Army Corps of Engineers has approved part of a Canadian company's plan to build an oil pipeline along the Texas Gulf Coast.

The corps said in a letter Monday that TransCanada has approval for a 115-mile portion of pipeline near Galveston. The company still needs approval for two other sections of the 485-mile line designed to transport oil to Texas refineries.

TransCanada is pursuing this portion of the pipeline as it awaits federal approval for Keystone XL, a more ambitious plan to build a cross-border 1,700-mile pipeline to carry oil from Canada's Alberta region to Texas refineries. The proposal has hit several roadblocks, and the company is rerouting the line to avoid an environmentally sensitive area of Nebraska.

If that is approved, the two pipelines will connect.

AP