The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily lifted a judge’s order blocking Texas from issuing permits for a river system that supplies cities and industrial users in a dispute over protecting an endangered flock of whooping cranes.
The federal appeals court in New Orleans, which made the ruling Tuesday at the request of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, also said it would expedite the state’s appeal of a lower court’s March 11 ruling that forbids the approval of new permits for the Guadalupe, San Antonio or Blanco rivers.
The appellate court scheduled oral arguments in the case for August.
“Today’s order halts the lower court’s flawed decision — and stops Texas from being coerced into a costly federal permitting regime,” Lauren Bean, a spokeswoman for Abbott, said in an email. “Equally important, the emergency stay is a huge win for the farmers, ranchers and communities along these Texas rivers who would have been irreparably harmed if the district court’s order had taken effect.”