Republican bill would constrain EPA action on smog

By Nico Portuondo | 07/11/2024 06:55 AM EDT

The legislation would prevent the agency’s use of cross-state data.

Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas).

Legislation from Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas) would make it harder for EPA to fail some areas for high ozone levels. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Texas Republican Rep. August Pfluger is sponsoring legislation that could effectively paralyze EPA’s ability to enforce smog standards in his home state.

The “Show the Data Act of 2024” would amend the Clean Air Act to ban EPA from flunking a certain region for its ozone levels without using data from that state.

“The EPA has relied too heavily on modeling and behind-closed-doors data to try and redesignate areas like the Permian Basin without sufficient and direct evidence,” Pfluger said in a statement. “This approach disregards local input and threatens to impose new regulatory burdens that could worsen inflationary pressures.”


The agency in 2022 proposed that certain areas in the Permian Basin could be in “non-attainment” with the 2015 70-parts-per-billion ozone standard. Pfluger represents a Texas portion of the oil and gas hub.