AUSTIN (KXAN) – Texas lawmakers are already gearing up for a legal fight against the Biden administration. Hours after President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a clear message, vowing to push back on federal mandates that he says infringe on Texans’ rights.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) says it is preparing a number of federal lawsuits, mainly centered around federal overreach. Currently, energy regulations and education curriculum under the Biden administration are the focus of the foundation’s legal team. This comes after President Biden declared his intent to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and revoke the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
TPPF says energy regulations under the Biden administration could impact energy independence as well as thousands of jobs in Texas.
“There are a number of tools available to the Biden administration that could threaten Texas’ thriving oil and gas industry,” explained Chuck DeVore, TPPF’s Vice President of National Initiatives. “You have regulations, you have the intent to rejoin the Paris [Climate] Accord, there are a few different tools that may result in the reduction of production from Texas’ thriving oil and gas industry.”
DeVore says this is significant because a few years ago the United States became a net exporter of oil and gas, which he believes improves our national security posture.
The foundation is also focused on preventing a federal takeover of education curriculum.
“What we are very concerned about is this attempt to impose a federal standard on educating our children on the history of America. In the case of Texas, undermining the teaching of Texas History,” DeVore said.
Under the Obama administration, Texas took the lead in suing the federal government, and now that battle continues.
KXAN media partners at the Texas Tribune report that during the eight years of President Obama’s presidency, Texas sued the federal government 78 times.
In the last four years under President Trump, Texas sued the feds 145 times.
Analysts say that’s because the Supreme Court has a more receptive, conservative bench.
With early talks of federal lawsuits, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is already preparing to intervene on a state and federal level.
“We as the ACLU will likely be seeing Paxton in court on many of these issues, during the Obama administration we intervened,” said Andre Segura, legal director for the ACLU of Texas.
KXAN reached out to the Texas Attorney General’s office to see if and when it expects to file a lawsuit. Our team has not heard back.
As far as lawsuits involving COVID-19 mandates, the TPPF says it hasn’t seen any executive orders yet that would result in a challenge.