Roundup: EPA Gives 1st Greenhouse Gas Permit To Texas Plant | KERA News

Roundup: EPA Gives 1st Greenhouse Gas Permit To Texas Plant

Dallas, TX – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a greenhouse gas permit for a natural gas-fired plant in Texas, the first the federal agency has issued since taking over the Lone Star State's permitting program in January.

The EPA announced on Thursday it had awarded the permit to the Lower Colorado River Authority, which plans to modernize and expand the 37 year old Thomas C. Ferguson Power Plant in Llano County, Texas.

The EPA took over the Texas greenhouse gas permitting program after the state refused to comply with new regulations designed to lower pollution. All states agreed to abide by the rules except Texas.

Gov. Rick Perry, who's a GOP presidential candidate, has long battled against EPA regulations, accusing the agency of meddling in state affairs.

Texas leads the nation in greenhouse gas emissions and industrial pollution.

Perry tries to spin debate gaffe to his advantage

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is trying to turn his debate gaffe into a talking point about a supersized government.

Perry acknowledges in an NBC "Today" interview that his forgetfulness in a Michigan debate was not a shining moment.

But he also cited "so many agencies of government that I'd like to forget." Perry appeared a day after he declared three governmental agencies should be eliminated, but could only cite two - Commerce and Education. He has stated previously he'd close the Energy Department.

But in Thursday's interview, he sought to turn his lapse in thinking to his advantage. Perry said the slip-up helps him make his major campaign point. Perry said, "It just surely gets to the core of the line - that we've got so much government out there."

GOP hopeful Perry heads to Letterman

Republican presidential contender Rick Perry will laugh about his debate performance with David Letterman.

The Texas governor is scheduled to appear on the "Late Show with David Letterman" on Thursday to talk about his brain freeze a day earlier on stage with his GOP rivals.

Perry is trying to turn the stumble into an opportunity. He is asking supporters to pitch in a few dollars for every agency they would abolish.

Dallas doctor to lead American Cancer Society

A Dallas doctor who survived cancer will serve as national president of the American Cancer Society.

Ceremonies were planned Thursday in Atlanta to induct Dr. W. Phil Evans, who'll serve a one-year term.

Evans, who 15 years ago underwent kidney surgery for cancer, is director of the University of Texas Southwestern Center for Breast Care. He's also a professor of radiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Parkland Board Considers Interim CEO

The Parkland Board of Managers meets Friday afternoon for final interviews with three finalists for the job of "interim" CEO.

Charise Thomason is with Parkland.

Thomason: The Board and senior leadership at Parkland have spent the better part of this week interviewing candidates for the position of interim CEO. The Board's options include making a selection, deciding to take some additional time to consider the candidates, or deciding to consider additional candidates.

Dr. Ron Anderson's last day as Parkland's CEO is December 31st.

The Board declined to renew Dr. Anderson's contract after the hospital failed two critical federal inspections and agreed to independent management oversight. But, Board members are asking him to stay on in some other capacity.

Finalists for the interim job are: Otis Story, a former CEO of Grady Health System in Atlanta; John Guest, CEO of Teaching Hospitals of Texas; and Dr. Thomas Royer, former CEO of Christus Health, based in Irving.

Parkland will soon launch a nationwide search for a new CEO.

Dallas "Standing Wave" Fix Up To Lawyers First

Work to "fix" the Dallas "Standing Wave", the kayak feature on the Trinity River, is bogged down in lawyers' offices.

Last summer, the city of Dallas began looking for a way to make the channel that bypasses the whitewater waves safer. It was too turbulent.

Willis Winters, with the Parks Department, says paying for the re-do is the top issue.

Winters: We had a preliminary cost estimate developed back in the summer. It was around 120 thousand dollars. The city has entered into mediation with the design team and the general contractor.

That session may happen in early December.

Kayaker Eric Neilson, with the Dallas Downriver Club, says he's paddled both, and the standing wave is safer than the bypass channel. He says something obviously went wrong. Trinity River Project director Rebecca Rasor will update the Downriver Club next week.

Gas prices up penny across Texas

Retail gasoline prices across Texas have inched up a penny this week.

AAA Texas on Thursday reported the average price at the pump was $3.26 a gallon. The national average also rose a penny, to reach $3.44 per gallon.

Amarillo had the most expensive gasoline statewide, at $3.32 per gallon. Corpus Christi had the cheapest gasoline, on average $3.16 per gallon.

Analysts say economic instability in Europe continues to affect commodities markets.

Korean War vet's remains returning to Texas

A Korean War veteran will finally be laid to rest in his Texas hometown more than 60 years after he was declared missing in action.

The remains of Cpl. Benny Rogers were set to arrive at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Thursday and be returned to his family.

Rogers' remains were recently found in North Korea and confirmed through enhanced DNA testing.

His family last heard from Rogers in a letter he sent to them on Oct. 30, 1950. Three days later, the 20-year-old soldier was caught in the Battle of Unsan, which claimed the lives of more than 1,000 soldiers.

Rogers will receive full military honors when he is buried on Saturday next to his parents in Willow Springs Cemetery near Athens in East Texas.

Texas board rejects Confederate license plates

A Texas board has decided the state won't issue specialty Confederate license plates.

The Department of Motor Vehicles board voted unanimously against the proposed plates Thursday.

The board was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry, who's seeking the GOP presidential nomination and has previously defended the historical value of Confederacy symbols. But when asked about the proposed plates last month, Perry said "we don't need to be opening old wounds."

The NAACP and other groups have opposed the battle flag as a racist relic.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans sponsored the proposal and members had threatened file a lawsuit if Texas rejected the plate design.

Similar plates have been approved in nine other states, including three in which the group successfully sued.