Citizen, environmental groups sue Texas guv over controversial coal plants

The big ol’ mess in Texas over TXU Corp.’s plan to build 11 coal-fired plants just got messier: four citizen and environmental groups have sued the state’s governor, Rick Perry (R), for fast-tracking the permit process. Thanks to a swaggerific executive order Perry issued two years ago — which the groups say violated both state law and the Texas Constitution — challenges to six plants were lumped into one hearing, scheduled to begin on Feb. 21. Steamed opponents say they haven’t had time to build their case, and claim Perry’s move put “extraordinary and unprecedented burdens” on them. Green groups are also waging a campaign to discourage investors from funding the $10 billion project, which one group estimates would spew as much carbon pollution as 14 million cars. But TXU remains confident: “What we’re finding as we sit down and take a long look at our program with these interested parties, usually they see the benefits of the program,” said a spokesperson. Guard your kneecaps, people.