Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Greg Abbott asks federal court to block regulation shortening fishing season

Greg Abbott asks federal court to block regulation shortening fishing season, Wichita Falls native Greg Abbott, who is the Texas Attorney General today, Tuesday, April 23 has filed a legal challenge in federal court asking a district judge to block a proposed federal rule that would punish Texas and Louisiana by shortening the red snapper fishing season in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas coast, according to the Office of the Texas Attorney General's Office. This lawsuit comes in the midst of rumors Abbott will run for Texas governor in the next election.

These gubernatorial rumors gained more momentum in the wake of Abbott's recent visit to West, Texas, the scene of the fertilizer plant explosion which killed several residents of the town perched on I-35 near Waco. Normally, current Texas Governor Rick Perry would have been the first Texas official to visit the tragic disaster scene.

The former Wichitan didn't address his possible run for governor of Texas today, though. He limited his comments to the proposed rule regarding red snappers off the coast of the Lone Star State.

Abbott today said, "It is unacceptable that the federal government would abuse its power and claim an emergency exists simply to punish states like Texas and Louisiana because they have rules governing red snapper fishing in state waters that federal officials disagree with."

The Lousiana Attorney General's Office has joined in the lawsuit in connection with waters off the coast of that state.

Abbott further said today, "The federal government's actions amount to a blatant attempt to force Texas and Louisiana to surrender their own regulatory authority and conform to federal regulations. Texas will not acquiesce."

Abbott in his lawsuit requests the federal court to move "swiftly to block enforcement of the rule before the federal fishing season begins June 1.

Texas set the fishing season up to 27 days. The proposed federal emergency rule would reduce it to only 12 days. The economic impact is believed to be major on Texas if the judge allows the federal decrease in the length of the fishing season.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department forecasts the economic impact could be as much as a loss of $1 million per day if the red snapper fishing season is decreased by the federal regulation.

Abbott is suing the United States Department of Commerce, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

While Abbott has made no secret of his desire to become the next governor of Texas, he has also promised current Texas Governor Rick Perry that he will not run against him, according to a recent Associated Press article in the Wichita Falls Times Record News newspaper. If Perry decides to run for president of the United States, however, it could leave the position open for Abbott to run for the top job in Texas.

James V. Allred, a resident of Wichita Falls, Texas, served as governor of the state several decades ago after defeating two other Wichitans in the same election.

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